Your Schaefer’s “Grand Crew”

Schaefer’s has been a Chicagoland tradition since 1936 because of its incredible selection, competitive prices, unmatched expertise, and superlative customer service (for a short history of Schaefer’s, click here).

Schaefer’s isn’t just a place, nor just goods and services. The people make it unique. No other store is as old as we are, and no other store has such an experienced staff. Many on Schaefer’s team have been here for a decade or two. In a small retail business, that kind of longevity and loyalty is almost unparalleled. Is it the wine? Perhaps, but it’s also people who derive a great satisfaction from providing the unequaled service Schaefer’s offers its customers.

CAP appreciation
Bill Graham, Owner - Since 2009

The tradition of family ownership remains at Schaefer’s. Bill Graham, the owner since 2009, is a Chicago North Shore native and a multi-generation Schaefer’s customer. His family of five (including three teenagers and yellow lab) live minutes away from the store. He's passionate about Schaefer's tradition for excellence, from service to great values. Bill was joined by third generation, Anje Schaefer Cluxton, who was president of the business until 2023. Anje remains involved on a part time basis and also lives locally.

Mick Ter Haar, Beverage Director/Sommelier – Since 2009

Mick’s our Beverage Director. He has responsibility for a full range of beverages, including a strong spirits background from his 25 years of experience. Mick served as the Beverage Director at Blanchard’s Red Lion in Boulder in the late 80’s. In the mid-90’s, he moved to Vail where he was surrounded by renowned chefs at such restaurants as Sweet Basil and Larkspur. It was also at this time that he earned his Sommelier Certificate. In early 2002, Mick moved to Chicago to assist leading operations at Smith and Wollensky Steak House. His passion is to travel the world, eat, drink, meet people and enjoy their stories. Mick’s recent wine travels include Tuscany, Piedmont, California’s Central Coast and Oregon’s “Pinot Camp,” Israel, and northern France.

Dan Madden, General Manager – Since 1979

Christened Daniel Patrick, I was the seventh and last child born to James and Virginia Madden in July 1959. I was raised in Wilmette and attended St. Joseph Catholic School and New Trier West High School, in Northfield (Class of 1977). Given all the time I had spent cruising with my buddies, when I was 16 and 17, I knew the streets of the North Shore like the back of my hand. So the delivery department job at Schaefer’s seemed tailor-made. Before long, I was promoted to delivery department manger. After several moving violations and minor traffic accidents, George Schaefer figured it was the quickest way to get me off the streets. Ultimately I became Schaefer’s events and party planner, a job I’ve been able to hold onto because it’s one that I truly enjoy.

Mary Ferguson, Food Director – Since 1993

No one who visits our food department comes away without meeting Mary. She likes the fast pace and the camaraderie at Schaefer’s. Customers look to Mary for her ideas and her quick, no-nonsense solutions to their entertaining challenges. Need appetizers for 60 people in an hour? A picnic basket to impress a first date? A hostess gift for an impossible-to-please potential in-law? Let Mary help! She also has a talent for enabling customers to entertain with hassle-free confidence, providing do-it-yourself advice on everything from a wine-and-cheese tasting to helping decipher oddball recipes with hard-to-find ingredients. Mary enjoys cooking on her days off for her family, and spends spare time researching ingredients for special meals. But we all have passions outside our first love, and for Mary it’s fishing. Mary is also our authority on all things Iberian: foods, wines, culture and bullfighting.

Eli Robinson, Delivery Supervisor – Since 1993

Eli sees more parties and weddings in a week than most of us see in a lifetime. He’s the head of our delivery department, and he’s the one who makes sure all the libations for your event get there on time and in one piece. Eli might not be the employee who’s been here the longest, but he was the youngest to start. At age 15 he began as a warehouse worker during the 1993 Christmas season.Eli lives in Evanston and enjoys playing basketball and football with friends. We think he also writes poetry, but he won’t show anybody his stuff.

Lisa Foster, Bookkeeper & Manager – Since 2009

Lisa has been behind the scenes at Schaefer’s managing our books and fielding customer calls for the past 15 years. Although in the back office, she’s no shrinking violet when it comes to personality. In fact, in her spare time, Lisa loves making different plant arrangements including cacti. She’s recently moved up her game to Bonsai trees. Lisa is a season Blackhawks ticket owner and enjoys traveling, especially in the mountains. We’re excited that “wine friendly” Paris is a soon-to-be completed bucket list item. Lisa collects salt and pepper shakers, with over 200 pair to date.

David Kline, Wine Consultant & Scribe – Since 2023

David’s been an actor, singer, waiter, sommelier, wine & spirits educator, consultant, mixologist and beverage director. He teamed on independent start-up restaurants (Bistrot Zinc & Brio), helmed a division of dining destinations for Lettuce Entertain You (Scoozi!, Antico Posto, Petterino’s & others) and was the Director of Beverage for Levy Restaurants (national operations including venerable venues The Kentucky Derby & U.S. Open). He created Wine Spectator award-winning wine lists and crafted cocktails for restaurants, concerts & industry galas. David has educated & entertained thousands of staff and guests at trainings, wine dinners & events for over 35 years. By turns, gourmand & gourmet, he revels in food, wine & travel in the U.S., Europe and the world. Distance running helps him balance his vices with a little virtuous exercise. David’s true passion is sharing stories and suggestions about wine, spirits & food. His best recommendation: embrace the unknown and be willing to try something new!

Matt Korajczyk, Warehouse Manager – Since 2002

Matt has been with Schaefer's since 2002, since practically birth. He's a jack of all trades, including managing our holiday gift business. Matt moonlights with his rock band, and we often lose him for intervals when he's on tour. Matt brings a smile and "can-do" attitude everywhere he goes.