El Camino College Union

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Atomic Cafe caffeinates EC

Atomic Cafe owner Sean Conniff (left) and son Dillon Conniff in front of the Student Activities Center. Photo credit: David Gonzalez

Atomic Cafe owner Sean Conniff (left) and son Dillon Conniff in front of the Student Activities Center. Photo credit: David Gonzalez

Atomic Cafe owner Sean Conniff (left) and son Dillon Conniff in front of the Student Activities Center. Photo credit: David Gonzalez

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Over the past few years coffee has grown from just your morning cup of Joe, to get you up and going, to a whole lifestyle and culture. The Atomic Cafe Mobile coffee truck has brought this coffee culture to El Camino College.

Sean Conniff, 51, a resident of Redondo Beach, has made coffee a lifestyle with his mobile coffee truck Atomic Cafe Mobile and immersing himself into the growing coffee culture.

After working as a graphic designer for 15 years, Conniff was laid off from his job, and he decided to do what he had a love and passion for: making coffee.

“Coffee stood out as something I love and can share with everyone,” Conniff said.

Conniff created a Kickstarter to help raise money to get his project started. With a goal of $5,000 to help get his feet moving in the right direction, he reached his goal and a little more.

The inspiration for his Atomic Cafe Mobile coffee truck was from the original Atomic Cafe that opened up in 1946 in Los Angeles, California, known for being an iconic punk rock hangout spot.

The goal with Atomic Cafe Mobile was to bring back the 1950s and 1960s “mid-century space age aesthetic,” Conniff said.

Brian Fahnestock, Vice President of Administrative Services and the Food Services of El Camino said he “he heard people were unhappy about the coffee on campus”

“People wanted more coffee options on campus,” Fahnestock said.

Food Services reached out and got in contact with Conniff, asking if he would come out to EC and offer students hand-crafted specialty coffee.

Conniff’s mission is to bring, “better living through coffee”

Atomic Cafe Mobiles, coffee, hand crafted espresso based drinks, and even ice blended drinks.

“Bananarama is my favorite drink. I like the banana and caramel, they taste really good together,” Chris Portillo, 20, film major at EC, and a regular at Atomic Cafe Mobile, said. “The vibe of the atmosphere is nice, and you’re outside in the sun.”

Some of the more popular drinks are vanilla lattes and cafe mochas.

“I use a dark roast coffee, it is 50 percent Ethiopian, 25 percent Colombian, and 25 percent Costa Rican,” Conniff said.

They also have an open mic, where people can come and play instruments ranging from drums, guitars, bass, and even a synthesizer.

Dillan Conniff, 26, the son of Sean Conniff, is a barista for Atomic Cafe Mobile and sometimes plays the instruments they have sitting out, encouraging the people to come jam.

Conniff also wants to include, poetry, and art shows along with his open mic.

Atomic Cafe serves most of the South Bay ranging from art events, city parks, festivals, and even schools and businesses.

Conniff and his son Dillan, are at El Camino, starting their morning at 7 to 8:30 a.m. at Parking Lot C and in front of Student Activities Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Monday through Friday.

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About the Writer
Ryan Guitare, Sports and Photo Editor
Ryan Guitare is a first semester sports and photo editor at The Union newspaper but is in his second semester for The Union. This is his third year at El Camino College. Ryan enjoys coffee culture, snowboarding, skateboarding, photography, and art. Ryan is a journalism major transferring to Cal State Long Beach in the fall....
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Atomic Cafe caffeinates EC