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Meet the Kellsos

Kellso Family Photo

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 believe a true family business is one 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 have seen this in our family at Sagebrush.  We started our company with my wife, Jenna, and myself working nights and roasting coffee in our small home kitchen on Sagebrush Court (the origin of the name revealed). 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.  Today, Matt & Jonathan are full time in the business, Jenna has stepped away to pursue a career in nursing, and Noah & Eden work in the business utilizing their gifts where they can while they finish school.

Read below to meet the family and how each Kellso uniquely contributes to the family business.

Matt Kellso

I started this business as a way to subsidize my hobby in 2012. I had just bought an expensive ‘home’ roaster and needed to justify the cost.  I combined my love of coffee with my background in web design, marketing, and Industrial Engineering to try to make an online coffee roasting business happen. I was born in Michigan and have two U of M parents, but spent his childhood in South Carolina. When I was about 10 I moved to Tempe, Arizona, and have been in the Tempe / Chandler area ever since. I love the east valley but hate the heat, which makes the summers a test of patience. I graduated from Arizona State University with an Industrial Engineering degree and spent the first decade of my career at Intel doing anything from process improvement projects to forecasting to RFID consulting. I moved on from there to spend the next 15 years at Spencer's TV & Appliance doing much of the same things. In April of 2020 I finally stepped away from Spencer’s TV to focus on Sagebrush full-time.  After we learned to manage the rush of online orders that COVID brought, we moved to a larger production facility and focused on opening our coffee shop.  The last few years have also given me an opportunity to nurture international relationships in sourcing our coffees.  I love the coffee industry, I love the community of local shops, the camaraderie of local micro-communities of a single shop, learning and educating on the industry.  But nothing brings me more joy in my work than talking to a farmer about their coffee and how our little business in Chandler is thriving because they’ve dedicated their life to the pit of a coffee cherry. When I’m not at Sagebrush I’m probably meeting with someone from our Church (Grace Bible Church in Tempe) where I’m a pastor, reading or vacationing with family which includes exploring coffee shops.

Jenna Kellso

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. When we were starting out she was the glue that held my dream together. When I 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 was something that wasn’t getting done or couldn’t be done after-hours, Jenna would go after 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.  I can’t tell you how many people she called looking for our first location, trying to explain why some landlord wanted to take a chance on a person roasting coffee in their garage.

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. About 5 years ago, Jenna decided that as we were heading to be empty nesters, she would love to go back to college and get a nursing degree.  She loves caring for people in need and felt like this was an awesome opportunity.  In December of 2023 she received her RN and is now working as a nurse at Mercy Gilbert Hospital.

Jonathan Kellso

Jonathan has been a part of Sagebrush for over 10 years. Since creating the logo, he has stepped into the role as head of branding and design for the company and produces all of the photography and packaging design. Along with branding, he manages operations of the coffee bar, training baristas and developing new drinks with our assistant managers. He is also plugged into his church and plays bass on the worship team. In his free time, he loves going out with his wife, Diana to new restaurants. He and Diana also run an online vintage clothing store called Nosy Ghost Vintage and spend the majority of their downtime photographing new pieces, writing descriptions, and sourcing new clothing.

Noah Kellso

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 is currently attending ASU at their sculpture program to get the skills necessary to become a furniture designer. He fills his free time with various hobbies such as playing video games, sewing, listening to music, and hanging out with friends.

Eden Kellso

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 16 years old. She is also in charge of the menu development for the in house pastries She currently attends Hamilton High School and loves spending her free time cooking. When she graduates in 2025 she is going to work towards getting her realtors license.