Laguna's Happy Place store closing soon

North Laguna residents Jim and Mina Buc have dealt with their share of tragedy.

The couple moved to Laguna shortly after losing their Yorba Linda home to the 2008 wildfire. Following that, they lost their nephew, Kevin Carlberg, after a 7-year battle with brain cancer. That loss led them to start their foundation, Don't Worry Be Happy, and sell the "Don't Worry Be Happy" T-shirts, originally made for Carlberg, to other cancer patients.

In April, the Bucs officially opened their store, The Happy Place, at 1042 N. Coast Hwy.

Now the couple is closing the shop after discovering 54-year-old Mina has breast cancer.

"I'm tired. It's been stressful," said Mina, who was busy handling a blowout sale for the shop Friday. "The hardest thing is worrying I'm going to let everyone down."

Choosing to close the shop wasn't an easy decision, she said.

"I just need to take the time and not feel the pressure of being here for 12 hours a day," she added. "I need to be able to do what I need to do."

The Bucs, who have been married for 21 years, have had numerous offers of help from volunteers, but closing the shop and moving it to an online-only operation is the best option, they said. They have six adult children, including one in the Army, and four grandchildren.

After this month, a limited offering of the T-shirts will be sold online at, and the couple will continue the Don't Worry Be Happy Foundation's support of cancer warriors. Every T-shirt sold goes to helping a warrior pay bills while dealing with cancer. Kobe Bryant and Fergie are a couple of celebs who have lent their names to the cause.

Mina's diagnosis took the couple by surprise.

"He freaked out when he saw the results," Mina said about Jim's reaction.

Like they tell everyone, cancer is not a trivial thing, said 57-year-old Jim.

"It's a huge wake-up call and you need to revisit your life," he continued. "I explain to people that it's a known fact ... Dr. Bruce Lipton proved that 95% of all diseases comes from stress. The other 5% is genetic but it only kicks in due to stress. So it's pretty much all about stress. So with her all I can do is to get the stress out of her life and this is the stress."

He was just like, "You have to stop, you can't keep doing this," Mina said about her husband.

"I can't help keep helping everybody if I'm not helping myself," she added. "I need to show them that it is important to take care of yourself too."

T-shirts run about $30 for adults and $25 for children. The Happy Place store is offering 30% off merchandise again starting Nov. 17 through the end of the month.

For shop hours, call (949) 715-6789.

Twitter: @agomezberman

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