It's been a tough year for hospitality, not that you need me to mention that again - you get it, you are all living it. When I first came to live in Australia in 2009 I was immediately hit with the vibrancy and the energy of Melbourne. The melting pot of cultures to be found in each little pocket turned me into an urban explorer or so I thought, with my trusty Myki card - when I remembered to reload it.
It was at that point that I really began to fall in love with food, I would sit and watch the hospitality masters as I sipped on my first real cup of coffee - Glasgow is more granulated that roasted, you don’t know what you don’t know, right? I spent an eternity taking notes and chatting to the locals to plan out my weekend adventures.
Hospitality has taken some major stick in the last few years. Employee rights. Low paid wages. Rising rents. Tighter margins. It’s a hard business to be in. That Barista, that chef, the baker getting up at 3am - the reason they do it is because they love it. It’s an art form and a creative outlet. Then sometimes, just sometimes a little bit of magic happens and you walk out of a venue and turn to your friend and say - “they have absolutely nailed it”. It could be the decor, the vibe, or food creation. But it really boils down to one thing. PASSION.
At Laneway Greens I am surrounded by passion in abundance.
At the beginning of March, I wrote a post to let everyone know that we had chosen to close the doors due to COVID19. It won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone that we haven’t traded our stores since then.
We had some long, deep discussions as a group about what the next 12-24 months could look like for hospitality in Melbourne.
The general consensus was we didn’t know. What we did know was that one; we are not a large company with never ending resources and two; we didn’t want to sit and put all of our eggs into one basket amidst so much uncertainty.
In mid March, we launched our first new revenue stream, the @home box. It’s been a rollercoaster of a journey for the whole team, who lets face it, have had their job description added to or changed most months as we move from hospitality to a start-up.
So really, the question is now - What does Laneway Greens look like in 2021? Queue bullet points
- We grow our E-commerce play and adapt into 3,4 and 5 meals a week plans on our subscription service. We have lots more meals and options for our subscribers we’re about to roll out. Did someone say lunch box? Yes that’s right. Our iconic wholefood salads will make their way to you. Plus a host of amazing collaborations with the best partners we could find. Then we will launch nationally.
- Retail - We will also be producing our food in stand up pouches and salads that will be able to buy in your local supermarket or independent grocery stores.
- Outposts - It’ll be an interesting year with staff working from home and less people working in the city - We will however trial a number of outposts in different parts of the city and suburbs - more announcements on this later.
So what does this mean for our Melbourne stores...
Well the short story is this. We won’t have any. Last week we successfully sold two of our sites to Fishbowl from Sydney. They tapped us on the shoulder earlier this year. We are sad to see Flinders lane and Richmond go, although bittersweet, we are fully focused on our new future and we are happy to support an awesome company moving into our stores and utilising the fit-outs. Nathan and his team will smash it and we encourage you all to get behind them and show them the same support you have shown is over the years.
Our last remaining store will be available to any party that is interested - We have an amazing landlord in AMP Capital and we are happy to enter discussions with anyone interested in that site. The store comes with a liquor license and would suit many different types of offerings.
In the meantime,we better get our heads back down and get stuck into this new start-up we have created. You will be seeing us around and keep your eyes posted for updates. We will make our way back into retail in the not too distant future with a new Laneway Greens concept.
Next chapter on the way. Thanks again for all your support, it means the world to us.
Richard and the Team
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to to discuss wholesale relationships or are keen to view our site at Collins Place.