Nick Stone on The Mentor List

Nick Stone Candidly Shares his Story with Popular Australian Podcast, The Mentor List

Our Founder and CEO, Nick Stone recently spoke with The Mentor List’s David Lewis about his life, career progression, business development, and of course – coffee!

Prior to Bluestone Lane, Nick fulfilled his childhood dream of playing professional football in Australia, before transitioning to a career in investment banking. At the age of 29, Nick found himself working in New York City as one of the youngest directors in the business.

His move to the ‘Big Apple’ was originally motivated by his then-girlfriend-now-wife, Alexandra Stone, who was living in the city pursuing a modeling career. On top of that, Nick says, “I had a fascination with New York, how it is the epicenter of commerce, fashion, and art, and probably the most aspirational city. I think particularly for Australians, they see New York as the bright lights, and the place to be.”

Founder and CEO, Nick Stone sitting at cafe with coffee.

The Beginning of Bluestone Lane

Initially, Nick moved to New York to study at Fordham Business School, where his final thesis requirement was to formulate a potential business proposition. “I decided my business idea should be on something I had absolutely zero experience in, and that was hospitality.” After three years working in NYC with ANZ Banking Group, Nick found himself missing his local Melbourne café experience, where the coffee is artisanal, the service is personal, and the food is healthy and progressive.

His yearning for a genuine escape from the daily grind, and a premium experience where the barista knew his name, face, and order became the catalyst to build on his original business idea. Bluestone Lane was, essentially, born out of “self-necessity.”

When Nick’s vision finally came to life in July 2013, Bluestone Lane, the Melbourne inspired hole-in-the-wall coffee shop opened in Midtown at 805, 3rd Avenue, New York. “There was no street visibility, no signage, no sandwich board out the front – nothing.” The idea was to create loyalty and a customer base, driven purely by word of mouth.

Interior shot of Bluestone Lane 805 3rd Avenue.
An original photo of our first Bluestone Lane location which opened July 2013.

As popularity for the premium Aussie-style coffee and café scene grew, so did the business.”It’s (been) exciting to export that culture, and start to grow it in the US,” Nick says.

Listen to the full podcast for more insight

Five Facts About Nick Stone:

First career: AFL football player

Favorite book: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Key mentors: Warren Buffet and Reid Hoffman

Favorite coffee shop in hometown Melbourne: Patricia

Daily coffee order: Magic