LOCAL PROFILES: Boundless Plains (8.2.17)
If you’re an avid reader of LBC, you may notice a few themes here. We like our food (and wine!). We love our dogs. We dig our fitness. And we live on coffee (and this was before have two infants between the two of us). We’ve been known to do an impromptu coffee crawl throughout the weekend, and dutifully check out every coffee shop below Canal Street.
When we found out Boundless Plains was opening at 19 Rector Street, we excitedly stalked the shop every day during construction.
In celebration of their opening TODAY (GO! RIGHT NOW!), we spoke to owners Michael Vona & Jo Black to get the lowdown on this Australian coffee spot….
Tell us about Boundless Plains!
Boundless Plains Espresso is an Australian-inspired café that will offer a boutique coffee experience and provide customers with a selection of fresher, healthier and lighter dishes. We intend on offering a more rewarding and enjoyable coffee experience– attempting to shift the common perception that coffee is just a “hit” of caffeine. Our business will be underpinned with a strong focus on tailored customer service, carefully prepared specialty coffee, and fresh, inventive and healthy food.
We are both originally from Melbourne, Australia. Whilst we are an Australian-inspired café, we aim to appeal to a broad cross-section of the community. Our name is subtly Australian and derived from the lyrics of the (much) lesser known second verse of the Australian national anthem – even some Australians don’t get the reference!
What makes Boundless Plains different?
Our main focus is to offer a more personalised experience in a market that is typically driven by chains, which tend to provide customers with a transactional and formulaic experience, with mass produced food and coffee. The story of how we met actually speaks to one aspect of what we want to achieve with Boundless Plains Espresso. Prior to Michael’s involvement with Boundless Plains Espresso, he owned a very successful café in Melbourne’s bustling central business district. Much of the success of that café was due to the exceptional quality of espresso and fresh food, but equally because of the sense of community that he established in his cafe. Jo worked nearby, and she and Michael met in the café, where Jo was a regular customer. This focus on customer service and building relationships with customers is seldom found in high volume café environments, but is something which both Jo and Michael intend on building with their customers.
It is also very important to us that our business is socially responsible and eco-friendly, and we are committed to partnering with suppliers and other organisations that share these values. We know that people are increasingly focussing on their impact on the world, and we think this is a key aspect of our business.
What can locals expect from Boundless Plains?
Customers can expect:
· Exceptional espresso, drip coffee and cold brew for sit-in and takeaway, with beans supplied by our good friends at Parlor Coffee
· A seasonal menu of fresh, nutritious and inventive Australian-style breakfast, brunch -and lunch dishes available for sit-in or take-away
· A selection of teas from Bellocq Tea Atelier, pressed juices from Pressed Juicery and other seasonal beverages
· A selection of pastries and baked goods from Ovenly and Pain D’Avignon
What made you decide to open Boundless Plains on Rector Street, South of World Trade Center?
We fell in love with the location because we wanted our first café to be located in an under-serviced part of the city where we could really make a difference. We feel that the Financial District in general is saturated with chain coffee stores that offer a fairly formulaic experience when it comes to their products and services. Having said that, it has been encouraging to see in the last couple of years, New Yorkers embracing more specialty inspired coffee shops and cafes, and in particular Australia style cafes.
What attracted you to this particular neighborhood?
We were attracted to the location because we recognised that the neighbourhood is going through a rapid change and we believe that there is an appetite in the area for quality espresso and inventive fresh food. Being so close to 9/11, this part of the Financial District is still undergoing a lot of regeneration, and we saw an opportunity to contribute to this regeneration in a really positive way. We recognise that there is a unique mix of demographics in our neighborhood that include local professionals, residents and tourists, and we believe that the community deserves a much more tailored café experience.
What excites you about running a business below Canal Street?
Life below Canal Street is uniquely exciting for us as it has such a broad mix of people that co-exist. We are really excited about being part of the community and offering people in the area exceptional quality coffee and serving fresh and healthy food in a light and bright space.
Do you live downtown? If so, what are your favorite spots?
Jo: I live downtown in the West Village. I love to support all the Aussie cafes, such as Merriweather on Hudson Street, Banter on Sullivan Street and Two Hands on Church Street, as well as the classics like Bleecker Street Pizza – nothing beats a slice of Nonna Maria!!
Michael: I only recently moved to Brooklyn and I’m still discovering new places everyday but whenever I am downtown I do tend to pop into Arcade Bakery and Two Hands on Church Street, but my list of favourite spots is quickly increasing.