Laguna Cafe

Chris Schaefer grew up in California. After school he did an apprenticeship program with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which lead to a career as a commercial/industrial electrician.

He leveraged that knowledge when he joined the Army in 2001, graduating from the U.S. Army Aviation School as a Helicopter Turbine Engine Technician.

During his time in the Army, he did two deployments to Afghanistan and attended Aircraft Turbine Overhaul School at Rolls-Royce academy in Indianapolis. He left the Army in 2007.

He took his experience to the private sector as a helicopter maintenance technician for a McDonald Douglas aircraft repair station in Garden Grove, CA. He specialized in military MD500 aircraft. Shortly after he joined L3 Communications as a lead CH-47 helicopter Technician for the U.S. Army contract in Kandahar/Bahagram Afghanistan till 2011, and then was recruited by Bell Helicopter in 2011 to become an instructor and lead technician for the Iraqi Army helicopter program in Taji/Baghdad Iraq until May 2013.

At the end of his contract time, he and his wife Samantha decided that it was time to come home and do something that they both loved. They wanted a family business and something that no longer required travel.

“I have always had a love for cooking and always wanted to share good food that made people happy,” says Chris. And with that, he and his wife began searching for a small restaurant or diner that they could make their own. “My grandmother made everything from scratch and that’s how I wanted to make our food.”

After reading every book he could find about starting a cafe they jumped in with both feet and bought a little place they could afford and are now bound and determined to put their cafe on the map.

The Laguna Café is located in the heart of Laguna Woods and serves an assortment of American, Italian and down home cooking.