We had the good fortune of connecting with Rene’ Shaffer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rene’, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks has played and plays a huge role in whom my daughter and I are as individuals and as business owners together . We would never be in the place we are today if we had not taken the risks to get get our cafe . There were so many different things going on that came against us while others were working for us. But we believed in the dream we had and risked it all . These risks pulled us forward as human beings and have given us a platform to put into reality what was once only a dream . It’s a forward action that continues to this day in our lives . Having the drive to take risks has developed a confidence that we can do this and that maybe we can do even more than we thought. It takes humbleness, strength , strategy, confidence and planning and being surrounded by a great team of people to make a risks pay off and we’ve been molded by this experience . The thing I believe in is that every person should have what they want but I believe that every person should have to work hard to get it . Risk taking ..I could not be where I am today without that drive.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We’ve been in the coffee shop business for many years , myself being over 25 years. Being owners for almost 3 years now. From the very beginning I found it a fit for everything I loved to be surrounded by: great coffee, friends, people, serving others the very best . This started the dream of ownership. My daughter and I faced challenges when it came to working with the owners of the coffee shop at the time of purchasing and getting the financing we needed. Convincing someone outside that we could turn the business around and make it successful was not an easy task . We were told “no” and still pressed on. We would continue until we found an investor . It literally came to the point in which I felt no one believed in the dream anymore but me . I felt alone in my dream many times but I was not willing to give up. I would keep silent and pray and work hard to find a way instead of giving up . Now our challenges have changed because of COVID and lockdowns . our industry hurts because of a lack of finding employees among other things. Which for the time means we work more. As owners we fill in all the empty gaps and this means we have to sacrifice time from home and activities. I believe we survived the last year and a half is because of what we created our shop to be within the community and to people who visit from all over the world . We have been present in the daily ins and outs . We listen , serve and think of new ideas to stay on top of it all .
At the beginning of COVID lockdowns and closures we were given the gift of going into all Orange County Whole Foods . This kept us busy while we were closed and hope to survive whatever it was that was happening at the time. We to this day now have our beans sold outside of Orange County and into LA and other cities . We are constantly working On our brand and what we want to be known for . In all things .. The coffee shop has become the platform for the things we love most .. people and coffee .
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The beach of course and hiking if that’s their go to . We are outdoor adventurers and have the best hiking trails and beaches . It’s a great way to have fun and also to relax and spend time together . We always support other local restaurants in our city . We have some really great places to go to here in Laguna. While other businesses were closed we created a business plan in which 10% of what we earned every Sunday was given to another business in our city . Retail , barber shops , we looked to help . It was a way for us to say we realize we all need each other to survive this … and we want to be a part of helping .
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My daughter Tomi’ who is the perfect balance . She has her own set of strengths that differ from mine and together we have made the dream . Together we thank God for being in our lives . My other daughters have given their time , artistic touches and ideas to make a full circle of support . As a mom I believed I had to lead by example . I let my story over and over be the evidence in our relationship to believe and take risks for their own dreams . And of course some very special friends put the touches all in balance . It was not an easy process … we worked our asses off to make it happen .
Website: Laguna Coffee Co
Instagram: Laguna Coffee Co