The Minuteman Café: Providing High Quality and Delicious Meals to Maranatha

Come meet the talented team of the Minuteman Café who work hard to design mouthwatering menus, and create a beautiful buffet style display of rich and healthy meals that will remind you of home.
In this series, we have been introducing each of our hardworking and dedicated faculty and staff departments. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the talented people God has brought to our school, and to give readers a little insight into each department, its members, and the calling the Lord has placed on their lives. We hope these features give you an even greater appreciation for our staff and the ways they enrich our students’ lives and help make Maranatha High School a Christ-centered and welcoming community.


Lorelei Topalian (Executive Chef)

Lorelei has been a part of the Maranatha community for over 20 years, and has worked as our Pastry Chef and now, the Executive Chef, of the Minuteman Café over these past seven years. Lorelei said, “I enjoy the Christian community and the feeling of family at Maranatha. God is good and God’s love is great, and you feel it here. Working for the Minuteman Café is a total blessing for me. I love serving the people, I love the hustle, and I love making people happy by feeding them healthy food. The one thing I can tell you is that in every dish there is a lot of love put into it. I always make sure that love is the main ingredient.”

As the Executive Chef, Lorelei’s goals for the Minuteman Café, as well as her kitchen staff, is to humbly serve everyone who enters the café. “We set our standards high by preparing quality meals using the freshest ingredients, meats, and produce. My other goals are to always have new and eye-catching snacks and to always have something to please everyone’s palette.”

Quirky Fact: “I have a team full of trained pastry chefs. We have always talked about how we would love to just make pastries all day to serve instead of savory foods.”

Shirley Chung (Chef - Hot Kitchen)

Shirley has been working at the Minuteman Café for three years and she loves working alongside the kitchen team. Shirley said, “The work days always go by so fast because we have so much fun. It is really nice when I see students and staff get excited to get in line to purchase the food we prepare, as well as enjoy what we are making each day.”

Quirky Fact: “My quirky or fun fact is that I don’t even know if I have one.”

Danna Rodriguez (Chef - Cold Kitchen)

Danna started working at the Minuteman Café just one year after graduating from culinary school. Danna said, “I have been working in the Minuteman Café for three years now. I started off as a pastry chef and I’m now a line cook. When I was first told about the job I automatically fell in love with Maranatha and working in the kitchen.”

Quirky Fact: “When I get mad, my English disappears and I only speak Spanish.”

Katsuko Tani (Chef - Hot Kitchen)

Katsuko has worked in the Minuteman Café the longest. Having worked for Maranatha for the past 11 years, her reasoning for being dedicated to the school and the kitchen staff for over a decade is short, sweet, and to the point: “My daughter went to Maranatha and I simply love being here.”

Quirky Fact: “I am the math wizard. They call me the human calculator.”