Hackberry Tea is a small business with a lot of help. What's missing from this list are countless hours of friends giving advice and support and buying those bags of tea when we weren't quite a business yet. This business is run by the people below, but it exists because of the selfless contribution of many unnamed friends and family members that just keep giving their time to help us grow.
Sarah joined the Hackberry team in October of 2019 as our Production Lead and is the Head Roaster for our sister company, Sagebrush Coffee, as well. She was born in Torrance, California, but moved to the valley when she was just 3 years old. She lives in Gilbert and loves it. She has worked with kids before for many years and is also a certified nail technician. Tea and coffee are constant companions and drinking them is one of her favorite hobbies. Outside of work, she loves spending time with her friends, reading books, or doing anything that involves Disney!
Office Manager / Media Development
Zoë joined the Hackberry team in 2016 as the lead packager and office manager. After having her first child in 2019, she began working remotely, focusing on email marketing and product creation. Before working at Hackberry, she received her bachelor's degree in dance education and spent most of her time performing and teaching. Along with spending time with her husband, Seth, and her two children, Zander and Saylor, she enjoys exploring local restaurants and coffee shops, interior design, and watching reality tv and documentaries.
Media Development / Menu Development / Bar Manager
Jonathan, Matt’s oldest son, has been a part of Hackberry since the beginning. He has always been very creatively driven, dedicating the majority of his time to musical production, graphic design, photography, digital art, painting, etc. He is working towards a presence in the local Phoenix music scene under the moniker “Candy Soup.” At both Hackberry Tea and Sagebrush Coffee, he is the head of media development and is responsible for branding, packaging, videography, photography, and web development. Additionally, he manages the espresso bar at our Sagebrush Coffee location in Chandler, where you can try our tea in person! On a typical Friday night, you can catch Jonathan with friends producing funny videos and creating music.
Media Development / Barista
Kourtney is a Journalism and Media Communication student who is finishing her degree online through Colorado State University. She grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and moved to Arizona where she started working at Hackberry in the spring of 2022. She writes blogs and proofreads all of our written material in addition to working on the bar at Sagebrush. She loves researching and writing about tea almost as much as she loves drinking it. Outside of work and school, she likes to spend time in her home office reading, writing, and painting. She also loves spending time outside especially if it involves travel or horseback riding. Kourtney recently studied abroad with Semester at Sea and has been to 22 different countries!
Operations / Barista
Kathryn started working in tea in 2014 and has loved it ever since. She joined the Hackberry family during the summer of 2021 where she has been a great asset to our team. Outside of tea, she loves learning all kinds of art. Fiber art is currently her biggest artistic outlet and many of the things she wears in the shop are things she has made. Costumes, ceramics, wood, jewelry, and sculptures are other forms of art that she loves. In addition to art, Kathryn loves good storytelling, whether through books, theatre, music, video games, or tabletop games. Fantasy books and games are of particular interest.
Production Assistant / Barista
Noah, Matt's youngest son, is our production assistant and is in charge of all weekend shipments. Additionally, he works on bar at Sagebrush Coffee, where you can our delicious teas in addition to our sister company's coffees! Noah is currently taking college courses to get the prerequisites needed for Arizona State University's architectural program with the hopes of eventually pursuing a master's degree in interior design. In his free time, Noah is constantly finding new hobbies and enjoys listening to music.
Head of Kitchen / Barista
Shannon was born and raised in Joshua Tree, California. She has been a barista since she was 17 but just joined our team here at Hackberry at the end of 2022, shortly after moving to Arizona with her fiancé. She manages the kitchen and works on bar for our sister company, Sagebrush, and is always developing yummy plates that pair well with a nice cup of tea or coffee. Shannon is currently in the process of becoming a registered nurse and hopes to someday become a surgical nurse. Outside of work and studying, she enjoys camping and kayaking with family, especially if it's in the Redwood forest.
MacKenzie is a student at Arizona State University majoring in Secondary Education and English. She is currently working at Hackberry in addition to student teaching and plans on becoming a middle school teacher. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, traveling, reading, and thrifting. A fun fact about her is that she has traveled to Romania three times with a group from her church, Grace Bible church!
Gabby started working at Hackberry in the spring of 2022. She just recently started college and has a big interest in forensic psychology and criminology. When she's not at work or school, you can find her at the gym, painting in her room, reading at a café, or at the comic book store with her dad. She is a big fan of Spider-Man and takes any chance she has to go to Disneyland!
Eden is Matt's youngest child and only daughter. She is a student at Hamilton High School and enjoys cooking and doing her nails in her free time. Her main role at Hackberry/Sagebrush is as a barista but she also spends time in the back of the shop developing our food menu. She is currently working towards her driving permit and is excited to be able to drive on her own soon!
Isaiah recently graduated high school and is now taking college courses and training to get his EMT certificate. He hopes to eventually become a firefighter or nurse. At Hackberry, Isaiah works as a barista and enjoys trying new teas and coffees when we get our hands on them. In his free time, he likes to draw and play the piano.
Chad Vander Meulen
Chad grew up in southern California and recently moved to Arizona for a job at Footprint, a material science and packaging company in the valley. He works at Footprint full-time during the week and spends his Sundays working at Hackberry/Sagebrush to fuel his passion for tea and coffee. He has a dream of working in the specialty coffee industry and owning his own shop someday! At the end of his Sunday shifts, you can find Chad relaxing in the shop with his wife, Ashleigh, and his daughter, Adelynne.