daily basis and come home and sit down at the table together.” The couple worked together to plan, coordinate, arrange, and direct funeral services, while #counseling and consoling their clients. They often spent entire days ogether and at one point, even conducted career day seminars at local schools and churches.
When Melvin passed away in May 2003, Dawn was left to #manage the business without her lifelong partner. The loss is still evident in her voice when she speaks of him.
Dawn and her husband were coprenuers for 37 years before he passed. His death left a tremendous emotional gap in the business, which was a large component of the marriage. But there was a natural succession plan, says Dawn. As she grieved, she did not worry about the future of S.C Franks. Soon, the #couple’s #children filled Melvin’s daily duties. Today, the business has grown and has a team of well-trained professionals including two of Dawn’s children-both of whom have studied mortuary science with plans of continued expansion beyond South Carolina.
Brains and Matri-”money”
Anthony Mack and his wife, Teresa, both in their 40s, say that finding a happy family-work balance has been the key to their successful copreneurial partnership. Married for 19 years with three young children, they own a Denny’s Restaurant and #operated a Del Taco Mexican fast-food franchise for a little more than a year, in the Los Angeles area. Teresa is also a #licensed real estate broker and agent.
Early in their relationship, the couple created a plan for both their careers and family. Teresa studied law at the University of Southern California and worked full time as a corporate lawyer at a West Coast firm and then as an attorney for the government. Anthony has wanted to operate a franchise since college. He spent 10 years saving money and searching for the right #franchising opportunity while working as a corporate sales #associate with companies including American Express, Eastman Kodak, and Johnson & Johnson.
To learn the operational skills needed to launch a restaurant, he began taking courses on business plan development and restaurant management with several nonprofit community-based organizations. During a course at the Ron Brown Business Center at the Los Angeles Urban League, Anthony learned about a Denny’s program that placed qualified minorities on the fast track to ownership. Anthony applied to the program, which #required a two-year commitment, in 1996. Once accepted, he took a significant pay cut to work in more than 15 Denny’s locations and learn all of its #operations from the ground up. The couple opened their Gardena, California-based Denny’s franchise in 1999 with startup costs of $325,000.
Anthony decided to focus on building the Denny’s franchise and Teresa continued to work full time as a lawyer for the next nine years so that their growing #family would have dependable income and benefits while the business grew. Gross revenues for the restaurant totaled $2.7 million in 2007.
The Macks set up Denegard L.L.C., a limited liability corporation through which they are legal partners and co-owners of