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Meet Tanae Denean and Rondell Eskridge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tanae Denean and Rondell Eskridge.

Tanae Denean and Rondell, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Sports, Fun and Fitness Camp was established in the summer of 2014, just a few months after my husband and I were married. My husband worked for the city of Santa Monica for years and he thought he would continue to do this in the summer of 2014. To our surprise, the city did not give him any hours that year leaving us very stressed and without income for a whole summer. During our dating season, we discussed what it would be like to own our own community center and offer summer camp and mentorship programs. Rather than live without food or light for a summer we decided to send an email out to some so my husband’s students and tell them about our new summer camp. We sent about 50 emails out and received seven responses. All seven responses were 3rd and 4th-grade girls from my husband’s basketball team. We borrowed a friends truck to transport the girls around town with their parent’s permission. We had the time of our lives. My husband, myself and our girls.

This year we celebrate six years in business growing from 7 campers a summer to over 200. We’ve added winter and spring break camp to our calendars and specialty sports training.

Fried Manna Funnel Cakes – So, you’re probably thinking, where’d all of this fresh fried manna come from, right? The last time you’ve heard of manna was when God fed the children of Israel as they were in the wilderness. Well, our fried manna may not come directly from heaven, but it sure does taste like it! Tanae and Rondell Eskridge are millennial entrepreneurs who believe you should make a living doing what you love! One day while planning a youth movie night for their church, they realized that there weren’t many funnel cake vendors within Los Angeles County. Curiosity made them research what it would take to start a funnel cake business, and with much prayer and diligence, Fried Manna was birthed! #friedmanna

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not smooth at all but valuable.

Learning to build a business in itself is a full-time job, especially when you are building from scratch. You don’t always make money when you’re trying to make money. As a new married couple, we were still learning each other then we added to that stress by starting a business together. Partnerships are never easy on any level. We had no mentor-ship on our first year.

Please tell us about Sports, Fun and Fitness Camp & Fried Manna Funnel Cakes.
Sports, Fun and Fitness Camp – We are one of West LA’s only black-owned summer camp. Sports, Fun, and Fitness is truly a unique experience. We specialize in campers having the time of their lives. We also feature a wide variety of special events and camp favorites to make sure our campers never want to spend another summer, winter or spring break at home.

We love children and we have a deep passion for their moral and emotional health.

Fried Manna Funnel Cakes – Best tasting funnel cakes in the West. No toppings necessary.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Nothing! Every bad decision and pitfall has made us better. There has been no wasted experience.

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