Blank Street | Instagram's favourite coffee shop

How did Blank Street Coffee become such a runaway success story?

What does it take for a simple coffee shop to be regarded as 'Instagram's favourite'?

In the case of Blank Street Coffee it's a classy combination of minimalism, beautiful shops and very enticing looking drinks served in transparent takeaway cups.

Yes - even though American coffee brand Blank Street is just three years old - the chain already has 57 outlets in trendy places like Williamsburg and London.

Just so you know, the brand is backed by funding from some very prominent players in the VC game, most of which it appears they are putting into their marketing effort. So their not exactly funding the expansion alone - their is big money behind the news.

That marketing effort is directed a building a strong brand that it's very particular target market simply loves - and is very happy to share publicly with their extended networks.

Of course it doesn't hurt that the people that choose to support Blank Street are also unbelievably cool too.

What's the brand kernel of Blank Street?

According to Forbes, this is the secret sauce:

The pitch was simple: in a world of precious, pour-over coffee, Blank Street would be a more affordable alternativecoffee served from a grab-and-go, postage-stamp size café on every corner. The smaller footprint would help keep real estate costs down while the drinks were made by a hulking Swiss machine—meaning Blank Street could employ fewer workers per shift than their competitors (but pay them more).

Is Blank Street trying to make the world's best cup of coffee?

No - that's not their value proposition. Instead they're just trying to be the most convenient.

In an interview with the New York Times in 2022, Freiha said: “We donʼt need to be the most amazing cup of coffee youʼve ever had. We want to be the really good cup of coffee that you drink twice a day, every day.”

Blank Street is 'a micro-cafe that's cheaper and more welcoming than Starbucks, with better coffee than Dunkin’ and more ubiquitous than any independent coffee shop or chain.'

Blank Street is also priced just right - the intention here is that it just becomes an accepted expense as a part of your busy day.

A 16-ounce Blank Street iced latte costs $4.25; at Dunkin’, $3.75; and at Starbucks, $5.50.

A brand also built around its coffee machine

What is unusual about the Blank Street brand is that a lot of its appeal comes from the fact that outlets are built around the specific coffee machine that makes the coffee.

Blank Street makes use a Swiss coffee machine brand called Eversys - which makes decent coffee quickly and without too much hassle; so that store staff can then focus on customer service rather than the ritual of coffee brewing.

Why it works?

A lot of busy people just want to grab a decent cup of coffee quickly, that looks the part at a reasonable price.

They don't give a damn about what beans were used, or if the barista calls you by your name, or hanging around in a crowed noisy space. They want something to grab that tastes good and looks good, while they get on with their lives. That's what Blank Coffee offers.

Because their mission is so clear - the brand is also wonderfully uncluttered and devoid of noise and distraction.

It'll be interesting to see if the hype can be sustained and where the founders take the venture next.


Blank Street Coffee Is Everywhere. The Founders Have Maybe One Regret
Two young entrepreneurs turned a single coffee cart in Williamsburg into a V.C. funded chain on both sides of the Atlantic. But they have one regret.