Arizona man takes over friend’s space blend business as friend battles brain cancer – FOX 10 News Phoenix


Arizona man takes over friend’s space blend business as friend battles brain cancer

Sean Mannello’s friend, Lenny, started Papa’s Peppers several years ago, and as the business began to get a little attention, Lenny was diagnosed with brain cancer. Now, Mannello is stepping in to help continue with the business. FOX 10’s Stephanie Olmo reports.

MARICOPA, Ariz.A Maricopa man has taken over his friend’s spice blend business, after the friend was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Now, Sean Mannello is doing more than just making sure the business continues.

For Sean Mannello, it is about more than just creating that perfect blend at Papa’s Pepper, known for its gourmet spice blends.

“I just turned 50,” said Mannello. “It’s time to give back.”

Several years ago, Papa’s Pepper was founded by Mannello’s friend, Lenny.

“He wanted to make something that was hotter, and he stumbled into this blend that everyone started to fall in love with,” said Mannello. “His friends started to enjoy it, and that’s why they called it ‘Papas Pepper,’ because he’s papa, and his grandkids used to say ‘papa brought his pepper where he went.'”

Just as his side business started to get a little attention, Lenny was diagnosed with Stage IV brain cancer. Mannello wanted to keep his friend’s legacy going.

“I said to him, ‘what would you think about sending the recipe to us, couple of us in our family?’ He said ‘would you be interested in that?’ I said ‘yeah, I’ll definitely be interested in it.’ He said, ‘how about I send you the blend, the place where you get bottles, and send the website over to you?’” Mannello recounted.

Next thing he knew, Mannello became the owner of Papa’s Pepper. He promised to always give 25% of the profits to Lenny’s wife, along with donations to Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, where Lenny is being treated.

“He’s on Instagram everyday, seeing thousands of people across the country use his pepper everyday, and it’s the one thing he wants to talk about,” said Mannello. “He doesn’t want to talk about his diagnosis. He wants to talk about what people made with his blend.”

Mannello wants to make sure Papa’s Pepper continues forever.

“It’s a lot of work, and I don’t think anyone would do it for the money,” said Mannello. “I think it will be a lucrative endeavor in the future, but in the front end, it’s not a fun endeavor, but it means so much to me. Nothing in the world will stop me from making Papa’s Pepper successful.”

Papa’s Pepper

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