Created by former Australian Football League player, Nick Stone, Bluestone Lane Coffee is derived from Melbourne Australia’s renowned coffee culture. It’s original location opened in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village and within the past few years, jumped to the West Coast, with just shy of a dozen coffee shops in Los Angeles and San Francisco. But Bluestone is expanding its one-of-a-kind coffee experience into the South Bay with a flagship store in Los Altos.
Australia—specifically Melbourne—is recognized for it’s deeply embedded creative, casual, and community-driven coffee culture. A way of life and a source of pride, Aussie coffee shops have a distinctly sophisticated experience that revolve around inventive beverages created by award-winning baristas, exotic food offerings, and a complex sense of community. Each coffee shop or café is rooted in the neighborhood in which it is located, taking on the distinct “patina” of the borough in which it resides including the atmosphere, design aesthetic, menu, and the people who frequent it. Melbourne continues to be on the cutting edge of sourcing, roasting, and brewing specialty coffees, yet another notch on its coffee culture belt.
Having grown up in Melbourne, native Australian Nick Stone embraced these coffee characteristics when he eventually moved to New York and launched Bluestone Lane Coffee.
Says Stone of Bluestone Lane, “Customers are looking for something different, particularly younger ones, and they’re looking for healthier food, better quality service, better quality coffee and tea product. They’re looking for more curated environments, places where they can escape. And that’s what Bluestone’s about.”
The Bluestone founder offered up admiration for Starbuck’s as “the greatest hospitality company that’s ever been created” yet stands by his claim that his chain of 30 privately-held coffee shops will challenge the Seattle-based company’s niche. Stone has raised $20 million and plans to ramp up expansion to 100 stores over the next three years.
“It’s about providing ability for someone to disconnect in this rapidly increasing digital world and we want to be that social community connection. That’s the way it is in Australia. Starbucks failed in Australia. It’s the land of independence and we want to bring more of that to the U.S. and beyond,” explains the former AFL player turned entrepreneur.
The South Bay is one of the expansion areas that Stone has his sights set on, with the affluent Los Altos being its launch point. Stone and his team thoughtfully choose locations that they believe fit their brand, cultivating and promoting the community connectedness and serving the premium coffee and delicious, healthy eats for which Bluestone Lane stands.
When and exactly where in Los Altos Bluestone’s flagship South Bay location is slated to open remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: it will serve up a coffee culture unique to anything the town—or the Silicon Valley—has ever seen!