What does human connection mean to us?
People often ask me, “What makes an Australian cafe?” and it’s an easy answer really – human connection. When I first moved to New York from Australia what I noticed instantly was that the coffee experience was missing community. In the coffee places I was going to, I didn’t really have any connection to any other people – I couldn’t be a local even if I tried.
The beginning of Bluestone Lane
Overall, I was surprised at the lack of café culture and couldn’t believe coffee was so commoditized, so transactional and just all about volume. I missed walking into my local coffee spot where they knew me and made me feel welcome.That’s essentially where Bluestone Lane began six years ago. We are about facilitating the most pure definition of hospitality which is human-to-human contact through engaging and sincere service. It’s not simply just premium coffee or healthy, Australian-influenced fare. Because it can’t ‘just’ be that.
When people come to a Bluestone Lane, to their local, of course they come for a coffee or an avo smash, but be it consciously or subconsciously, they come for a chat, a laugh, some sort of connection that helps them start their day positively.
The importance of human connection in business
It’s been proven that social connection is key to living a long and healthy life. If you’ve ever read about the first identified Blue Zone in Sardinia, Italy – where they have nearly 10 times more centenarians per capita than in the U.S – then you will know that the ties and bonds we build with the people around us are one of the highest contributors to our own longevity. The residents of the Blue Zone remain close with friends and family throughout their entire lives.
It’s the same reason we long to be connected to people on a day-to-day basis and look for those connections where we can find them. Bluestone Lane utilises incredible coffee and fresh, healthy fare as the vehicle to offer locals a pre-existing community you can walk into and feel at home right away, no matter who you are.
And the human connection piece isn’t just about our locals. I’ve learnt that for any brand to be authentic and transparent then your business message starts from the inside and works its way outside. We have to truly believe in what we’re doing, because at the end of the day our team and the mateship that exists between them is what creates that sense of camaraderie with our locals – and ultimately what sets the foundation for thriving communities.
Because our locals might come in to Bluestone Lane for a coffee, but what they take away is a feeling.