Over the weekend I made the trek to Blue Stone Lane’s West Village Collective Cafe. If you’ve never been, “Bluestone Lane Coffee is influenced from the renowned coffee culture hub of Melbourne Australia, where premium coffee is a way of life. ” Full disclosure, Melbourne is my home town. I wanted to come and experience how Australia is being marketed to New Yorkers. What brings New Yorkers to this cafe? Blue Stone Lane isn’t usually part of my student budget and my debit card cried a little when I got the bill. But my salad and soy cappucino were delicious!
I spent an hour or two at the cafe chatting with patrons from all over the world: Australians, New Yorkers and one lovely Irish fellow. Overwhelmingly everyone I spoke to had some connection with Australia. Dan the Irishman had visited Melbourne a few years back and had fallen in love with the city, but his required him to relocate to New York. One of the New Yorkers I spoke to had a lot of family in Melbourne and had been on exchange to Monash University in Melbourne. While her friend said that there was a Blue Stone Lane cafe near her office and she always came for the coffee. An Australian woman, Sarah, was part of the expat community that populates Nolita. She and her friends come to Blue Stone regularly for a taste of home.
It was a good thing I went on my own, with waiting times of around forty five minutes for a table. But I got a seat at the bar easily. Dan said that he thought Blue Stone Lane was probably one of the busiest cafes in New York. He said that the lines are always long. Dan also told me that he hates New York Brunches, especially mimosa’s and waffles. All Dan wanted was Aussie breakfast food, a smashed avo ( that’s avacado for you Americans) on toast and a decent coffee. Dan was a regular at the cafe and the staff greeted him by name when he came in. Sarah loves the cafe too, but she complained that the staff turnover was high and that the service was slow.
Cafe’s like Blue Stone Lane, Little Collins and a whole host of others are all brand ambassadors for Australia, that are being potentially underutilized. Tourism Australia conducted an important study in 2014, to understand American tourists. In the graphic below you can see that to Americans breakfast food isn’t something they associated with Australia. Overwhelmingly it’s seafood. In the future businesses and government could potentially partner together to promote Australia to New Yorkers. Reckon it could work?