These two employees at Anaheim PD’s in-house café know everyone’s name – and what they want


The reporter was interviewing the cook at the Anaheim PD’s in-house café when she suddenly said:

“You’ve been here before.”

Startled, he had been to the café once before — a couple of years ago.

“You’ve eaten here,” she said. “You had a wrap.”

“How do you know?”

“I remember.”

Indeed, Gio Medina, a fixture at the café since it opened in 2014 on the first floor of APD headquarters on Harbor Boulevard, remembers a lot.

She knows the name of every customer who is a regular at the café, and what he or she is most likely to order.

Anaheim PD Corrections Officer Jessica Masciel orders lunch at the APD’s cafe.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

It’s a great skill to have at the tiny café, which used to be a break room. The officers and professional staff members who frequent the café love the fast and friendly service – as well as the good food.

And they love that Medina and her co-worker, cashier Victoria Gutierrez, know what they want, and that they excel at the personal touch.

The APD may be the only police agency in Orange County to have its own in-house café. It’s a welcome convenience for detectives working around the clock on an investigation. And during these unique times of people venturing out as little as possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the café has become even more valuable to APD employees.

“They’re awesome,” said Danielle Masciel, a senior office manager in the Investigations Unit. “They keep such a healthy environment, and they’re definitely invested in our our little community here.”

Around noon on a recent weekday, into the café walked a familiar face in Anaheim:

Police Chief Jorge Cisneros.

“What’s he going to order?” the reporter asked Medina.

“He usually gets a Diet Coke,” Medina said.

Anaheim PD cafe chef and supervisor Gio Medina uses gloves and a mask as she makes a turkey bacon sandwich.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Sure enough, Cisneros plopped down two bucks for a 20-ounce Diet Coke.

“They know my addiction,” he said with a laugh, adding: “This is a great place. Those two ladies work hard, and they provide a great service.”

Kathy and Art Cervantes, the owners of K&A Café on Promenade Street in the Good Food Hall in downtown Anaheim, as well as Cervantes Mexican Kitchen, operate the APD café.

All of the cooked food served at the café – such as rice, beans, chicken breasts, and enchiladas — is brought in daily from the two restaurants. Medina uses a grill to make other items such as pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches. The grill is also used to warm up bread and tortillas.

The APD café serves an average of 60 to 70 people daily. It’s open from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. After 1 p.m., employees can drop by and use the honor system to pay for snacks and beverages.

On this day, green chicken enchiladas were the daily special. The daily special, along with the cilantro Caesar chicken wrap ($6.99) and fresh salad, are the most popular lunch items.

The most popular item for breakfast is a burrito or egg scramble.

Medina says working at the APD’s café is much different than working at a regular restaurant that is open to the public.

Anaheim PD Det. LC Cashell picks up her lunch at the APD’s cafe.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

“Getting to meet (the officers) here is a totally different perspective than seeing them on the street,” Medina says. “They are super friendly. I love coming to work.”

Gutierrez agreed.

 “They have a lot of personality and character,” Gutierrez said.

“They’re interesting,” she said. “You see crazy crime stories on the news. And then you see (officers) come in here and you realize, ‘They’re working on these cases. They are solving mysteries.’”

Medina says of working at the café: “It’s fun. It’s a family business. And the customers aren’t picky. They’re easygoing, and they don’t complain.”

Jose Cruz, who works in the APD’s Records Unit, walked into the café.

“The food is good here,” Cruz said. “And they (Medina and Gutierrez) are really friendly.”

“What’s he going to order?” the reporter asked Medina.

“He usually orders a breakfast burrito on a spinach tortilla, or the special.”

Gutierrez greeted Cruz at the counter.

“Can I get the breakfast burrito?” Cruz asked.

Medina smiled.