- Bluestone Lane, a New York-based, Australian-inspired coffee chain, plans to expand to 100 locations over the next three years.
- The expansion comes with the help of Miami Dolphins owner and billionaire investor Stephen Ross.
- According to Bluestone Lane founder and CEO Nicholas Stone, who spoke with Bloomberg, the chain is focused on providing “more than simply a caffeinated product” and focuses just as much on aesthetic elements and freshly prepared food as it does on coffee.
Bluestone Lane is about to take over the United States.
The New York-based, Australian-inspired coffee chain is winning over millennials with the help of Instagram-ready restaurants and fresh, healthy foods like avocado toast and almond oatmeal.
Nicholas Stone, founder and CEO of Bluestone Lane, said in an interview with Bloomberg: “Millennial customers are discerning and focused on more than simply a caffeinated product. That’s why Bluestone is focused on a providing a broader experience that includes service and aesthetic elements as well as freshly prepared food like avocado toast.”
Bluestone Lane, which launched in 2013, currently has 30 locations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, and Washington, DC, and it plans to expand to 100 locations in the next three years.
The massive expansion project is funded in part by billionaire Stephen Ross, chairman of Related Cos. and owner of the Miami Dolphins, who recently participated in a $US19.5 million funding round to acquire a minority stake in Bluestone Lane’s business, Bloomberg reported. March Capital Partners’ Jamie Montgomery, JAWS, and Apax Partners also contributed to the round.
This isn’t the first small coffee chain that’s won over investors – Ross’ investment in Bluestone Lanes echoes Nestle’s acquisition of the trendy Blue Bottle Coffee and Peet’s Coffee’s acquisitions of Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Intelligentsia, both of which started as small, independent coffee roasters and have since grown to see mainstream success.
See why Bluestone Lane is the next coffee chain poised to take over the US:
The Bluestone Lane I visited was a smaller location in an office building. Bluestone Lane’s locations are divided into two categories: small, coffee shop locations and cafés with more extensive seasonal menus.
The inside was decorated with marble countertops, green tile walls, and an abundance of plants. It had huge windows and bright lights, making it an inviting space.
The walls had vintage maps, photos of Australia, and sayings like “g’day mate” written on chalkboards. There were only a few benches for seating, but it didn’t feel cramped or claustrophobic.
Some of the café locations are much bigger and offer a lot more seating than the one I went to, making them better spaces to sit down and have a meal or meet up with people.
Bluestone Lane has a huge coffee menu with both hot and cold drinks, loose leaf teas, and “wellness drinks” like Matcha lattes and beet lattes.
I ordered a small Matcha latte. All of the drinks are made with almond milk, but can also be made with soy milk or oat milk. The latte was good, but it wasn’t anything particularly different from what you can get at any other coffee shop.
The coffee shop was completely cashless, and it wasn’t cheap — my small latte and a banana cost $US6.53. Hot drinks generally cost $US3 to $US5, and cold drinks cost between $US3 and $US6.
Food options included avocado toast, beetroot hummus toast, almond oatmeal, banana toast, and various other types of toast. Anything can be made gluten-free or vegetarian, and you can add on different types of cheese, egg, avocado, or smoked salmon.
In addition to the freshly prepared food on the menu, there were pre-made baked goods …
… bottled juices, water, and kombucha.
Like at places like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Doughnuts, you could also buy Bluestone Lane coffee to brew at home.
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