Who is Kelsey?
- A Virgo
- A Feminist
- An Extrovert
- An Ally
Kelsey is our new CEO and business manager. As Nora transitioned away from the business duties of running the company, she wanted to keep the business “in the family”, but most importantly keep the business women owned. As the first hire at NKG, Kelsey has done it all, and was perfect for the leadership role in our growing business. Sales, distribution, writing, producing, book keeping, scheduling, photography, baking, packaging, social media…You name it, she’s doing it. Kelsey is sailing the ship and helping us navigate through everything that comes our way.
A Little About Kelsey
Kelsey has always been a person who thrives in chaos. Doing just one thing has never been enough to keep her still for very long. She started working at the age of 12, but took on her first employed job at the age of 15. She didn’t just have one job at a time, but typically held three jobs at a time. She can multitask like there is no tomorrow and having a wide variety of schedules helped with keeping her life grounded. In high school, she always thought she would go to college to pursue photography. As graduation was approaching it felt more like that’s what others wanted her to do. Being the rebel that she is she decided to stay in Spokane, Washington to focus on work for a while instead. She worked in the service industry for about 12 years starting out as a waitress and moving on to bartending which led to manager roles. After moving to Portland in 2015, she decided that Dots Cafe would be her last service industry job. She found herself waking up feeling frustrated going to work and the late night hours were wearing on her. She didn’t have that passion in crafting cocktails and serving food like she used to. She needed something new. Something that was motivating, challenging and worthwhile.
A Woman of Many Talents
After leaving Dots in 2015, Kelsey was all about change. She started working for Saint Cupcake where she was the Assistant Manager, Wedding Coordinator and Head of Deliveries. In her off hours she took part in the OSU Food Innovation Center’s taste testing program for the Sensory and Consumer Group of Portland. Her side hustle outside of her main job was with Escape Collective where she became a Brand Ambassador and Production Assistant. Through these jobs, Kelsey found her love for coordinating and being the face of a brand. She loved managing production builds and connecting with fellow creatives. She decided to take on freelance producing and production assistant work with clients like Chaco, Smartwool, Radiant Human, Bombas, Jungmaven and Steichen Studio. After a little over a year being with Saint Cupcake she was approached by Drip Ice Cream to become their Sales & Distribution Coordinator. The edible companies in the cannabis industry took a big hit from OLCC regulations in the fall of 2016 and Drip had to shut down leaving Kelsey wondering what the next move would be for her. She would always enjoy her freelance work, but what was to come? It only took about a month until she became local Portland artist Aaron Rayburn‘s Studio Manager and Producer. Aaron shared a studio with Nice Touch Co and after a few weeks of seeing Kelsey’s work with Aaron they wanted to hire her too. Once Kelsey completed her work with Aaron, she became Nice Touch’s full time Studio Manager and Project Manager. Nora’s son is one of the owner’s of Nice Touch and Nora owned Nora’s Kitchen Granola. See where this is going now? Nora started NKG in 2015 and in the winter of 2016 she decided she needed some more help with growing her business. Kelsey worked along side Nora for about a year until Nora decided it was time to step back and enjoy her retirement. That’s when Kelsey and Peter decided to take over Nora’s Kitchen. Finally, here we are.
Why Vegan and Why Granola?
Kelsey has always had digestion issues. When she was a kid no one was testing for things like gluten intolerance or lactose intolerance. For years she suffered stomach and body pains that went undiagnosed. As an adult with no health insurance, she decided to start her own research by listening to her body whenever she put things in it that it didn’t respond to very well. This included dairy and gluten! Quitting gluten and dairy was a huge accomplishment for Kelsey. So much so she has cut sugar and coffee out of her life as well. Working with Nora’s Kitchen was the beginning to this lifestyle change. Food has always been a gateway to connection and brought people together. Sharing food with others is a great way to create conversation, make new friends, find love and end hostility. “Breaking bread” is a way to remove barriers and helps us explore new cultures while building stronger relationships when we socialize. This is one of the visions within Nora’s Kitchen that drew Kelsey into the business along side with providing food that anyone can eat. It is extremely hard to find gluten-free and vegan food that not only tastes good, but is good for you. Nora’s Granola breaks that barrier and it’s a product Kelsey feels strongly standing behind.