When you think about a family business, a lot of things could come to mind. Technically, Walmart is a family business, or was one for many years. I have seen the phrase used as a marketing ploy for a company that has grown beyond the family, but people like to hear family owned and operated, so businesses jump on the bandwagon. I also know, on the other hand, many family businesses where the entire family pitches in to make a business successful because everyone loves each other and has a passion for their role within the company. I think and hope that's where Sagebrush falls.
We started our company with my wife, Jenna, and myself working nights and roasting coffee in our small home kitchen on Sagebrush Court. We moved, grew into a garage space, then into a spare room, then to our first out-of-home location on Chandler Heights, and finally to our current location on Warner Road. My mom and sister started coming in on weekends to help, until I finally hired my sister Zoë as a full-time employee.
Read below to meet the family and how each Kellso uniquely contributes to the family business.
Matt started this business as a way to subsidize his hobby in 2012. He started by combining his love of coffee and coffee roasting with a web design, marketing, and Industrial Engineering background. Matt was born in Michigan and has two U of M parents, but spent his childhood in South Carolina. When he was about 10 he moved to Tempe, Arizona, and has been in the Tempe / Chandler area ever since. He loves the valley but hates the heat, which makes the summers a test of patience. Matt graduated from Arizona State University with an Industrial Engineering degree and spent the first decade of his career at Intel doing anything from process improvement projects to forecasting to RFID consulting. He moved on from there to spend the next decade at Spencer's TV & Appliance doing much of the same things. He is now running Sagebrush full-time and couldn't be more surprised and encouraged by how his 20 years of career experience has contributed to his daily work here. In his free time, he likes to read, hang out with his family, and is a Pastor / Elder at his church, Grace Bible Church in Tempe.
If you want to read about Jenna's contribution to the start of Sagebrush, look no further than the letter she wrote for the 5-year anniversary of the business. She is the backbone of the business. The glue that keeps everything together. When Matt was working full-time and trying to run the business at night, she was the one that would go into the shop and keep things going. When there is something that isn't getting done, Jenna isn't shy to get on it. She has gone in on Saturday nights to do inventory, spent 'vacation' rephotographing the tea products, and did so much during the early days that it may not even be quantifiable.
Jenna has spent her entire life in the east valley of the Phoenix metro area. Her lifelong dream was to be a stay-at-home mom and she was able to fulfill that. Besides being an amazing mother to the three kids, Jenna has spent her free time counseling people at our church and helping with the women's ministries there. She has begun the pursuit of a '2nd career' by going back to college and working on a nursing degree.
Jonathan, the oldest Kellso sibling, has his fingerprints all over this company. He designed the original logo when he was only 12 years old and has stepped in and contributed to all of the design aspects of the business. He obtained an associate's degree in music business from Chandler-Gilbert Community College. He works full-time doing a variety of different jobs at Sagebrush ranging from online marketing, design, barista work, menu development, facilities, quality control, and whatever else Matt needs that day. In Jonathan's free time he's usually doing something creative. Whether it is with music, video production, graphic design, or a mix of all three. If you want to see some of his video production work, check out his friend's YouTube channel. Or follow his music on Spotify.
Noah, the second oldest Kellso sibling, is a barista at our coffee bar and the head roaster for Saturday shipments. His dedication to Sagebrush has been present ever since the company's beginning, and he got started as an official employee as quickly as he could. Noah has moved past high school and is currently attending community college to get his prerequisites for Arizona State University's architectural program with hopes to eventually pursue a master's degree in interior design. He has always loved Legos and design and has turned that into a vision for his future. He fills his free time with various hobbies such as playing various video games, listening to music, and hanging out with friends.
Eden, the youngest Kellso sibling, helped casually with the business for many years and officially joined the Sagebrush team as a barista when she was 14 years old. She currently attends Hamilton High School and loves spending her free time doing various crafts, cooking, and perfecting her skills in nail painting.