Bluestone Lane's Australian vibes in NYCJune 20, 2017
Nicholas Stone had no idea what life awaited when he moved to New York City from Melbourne, Australia, in 2010. When he moved to the United States, he couldn’t believe how different the coffee culture was to what you could commonly find in Australia, particularly in Melbourne, which is the epicentre of premium quality coffee. This is where he started thinking of this in the perspective of the customer and how much he needed it as part of his daily ritual. He even wondered how he was going to survive in New York without having a local coffee shop experience where they know his name and his regular order. No local shop offered a complete breakfast with his flat white in a porcelain cup, and then he thought, “well maybe I could make something of this.” Even though he had no experience in hospitality or retail, his idea came purely from the perspective of the customer and finding an escape in the crazy place that is New York.
Essentially, Bluestone Lane was created to offer a local experience to customers. “For me, in Melbourne, it was important to have this sanctuary, a place where I felt a sense of ownership, pride and advocacy. I felt that this important element was missing in New York City coffee shops, in contrary everything felt very transactional. I thought - if I really miss that kind of experience, then others out there must miss it too.” That’s why Nicholas focused on building Bluestone Lane to be the ultimate local shop where people could establish a relationship.
In just 3 short years, Bluestone has opened 13 cafés and will be opening more in the coming years. “It’s all about team building. I love being part of a harmonious, hard working team and essentially that’s what I put together with Bluestone.” For Nick, it’s not about hiring people who had significant experience in the coffee industry, but rather hiring people who were dedicated to bringing all sorts of different ideas to the table, and discussing bigger opportunities. With over 200 employees now, Bluestone Lane’s business motto is complete and utter devotion to its customers and the experience they give.
Nick has lots of projects coming up in the next 5 years, and hopes to open Bluestone Lane worldwide. He even told us that he would love to open a shop in Montreal, as he loves the energy of the city and the coffee shop culture. We’ll need to follow up on that!
Nicholas Stone in a few words
First thing you do in the morning?
Kiss my wife.
Do you eat breakfast?
Yes. I have porridge or a smoothie.
Your favorite breakfast?
Avocado toast with two poached eggs, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, slice of bacon on a multigrain toast.
One word to describe you?
What do you do during your free time?
Hang out with my wife, read, play sports.
My parents are a great inspiration. Also, being part of a team inspires me everyday.
Any advice for entrepreneurs?
Do you research; understand what you want to create. Don’t just wing it, you need preparation and dedication.