About the Founders
Growing up in a fourth-generation local hospitality industry family, Mance’s introduction to the industry was at a young age, working at his family’s iconic Hermosa Beach landmark delicatessen, Mickey’s Italian Deli. Mance’s first taste of solo entrepreneurship occurred at the age of 21, when he helped develop and launch a fast-casual burger concept in San Diego, Buddies Burgers, which went on to successfully operate for five years. After Buddies Burgers, Mance joined the family business full time. In his first four years managing the business’s day-to-day operations, Mance led a new chapter in Mickey’s business growth, doubling the size of the business and contributing to the launch of catering and being available on third-party delivery sites.
Having built his career with South Bay hospitality company Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group, VIDA is Essman’s first independent project in partnership with Mance. Essman first started working with Sharkeez at their Panama Joes sports bar while in college and during his 13-year tenure with the restaurant group, his roles and responsibilities grew. As a partner of the Baja Sharkeez Group, he became an integral component to the group’s success operationally with various Sharkeez restaurants and bars throughout Southern California including Killarney Irish Pub, Sharkeez locations in Hermosa, Newport, and Manhattan Beach, Sandbar, and Palmilla. Most recently, as General Manager of Tower 12, a now-staple beach-town restaurant and bar in Hermosa Beach, he helped lead the restaurant’s nightly entertainment program and concept development.