Breno Donatti ’14 (BGS) met his wife, Jeanette, 11 years ago in a UConn-style meet-cute — they were both grabbing coffee in the Starbucks in Ferguson Library. Lucky thing, too, because back then Donatti barely had time to look up from his books; he was carrying a full load of courses at UConn Stamford while also running a farm-to-table restaurant. “I felt a bit like Superman,” he says.
Donatti’s love for the restaurant industry — everything from fine dining to beach shacks — is part of the reason he ended up at UConn. “When I moved to the U.S. from Brazil at age 18, I began working in a pizza place in Greenwich, and I loved the pace. It’s never stopping.” But it turned out Donatti was not actually Superman, and full-time school mixed with full-time work proved just a little too much. “It was the first time I had to withdraw from a course in my life,” Donatti says, “and also my first realization that I can’t do everything.” Lesson learned: Sometimes you have to sharpen your focus on the things that matter. That day in the library, Donatti focused on Jeannette.