Between the fashion boutiques and fancy diners of Fitzroy’s Gertrude Street, there’s a window with a small representation of Gertrude Stein’s head. Behind this window (and the head) is a new retail coffee store named for the American poet, by the folks from Coffee Supreme.
Supreme’s Heath Cater and Justin Emerson have opened Gertrude Stein’s to bring a new iteration of retail coffee to the area. The absence of an espresso machine should be duly noted. “We didn’t want an espresso machine to get in the way of our ability to engage with customers on a retail level,” Cater explains, “The Abbotsford Club does quite a bit of retail, but it’s still dominated by espresso and that can hinder the retail experience we want to give.”
The small space, neighbouring Belle’s Diner, provides batch brewed coffee and pastries from Loafer Bread. The modular fit out has two leaning benches (the space is standing room only) and a wall of retail shelves, adorned with all the coffee-geekery you could dream of. Bags of blends are at eye level, while the single estates are kept in clean, white drums hanging above the floor. “Everything that’s available on our website is available here. The shop is a bricks and mortar version,” says Cater.
At Gertrude Stein’s the staff will assist you with the coffee that best suits your tastes, beginning with an analysis of brew method, right through to which flavours make you a happy drinker. “The space is meant to be more than a shop,” Emerson adds, “It’s more of a focal point for Supreme and the coffees we offer.”
For the next four months, the space will be used to host events like cuppings or tastings and talks by designer Sophie Moran – who designed Supreme’s retail ceramic cups – and the man behind Uppercup, James McKay. Says Emerson, “What we’re trying to do here is turn people on to great coffee at home and show them you don’t need a $2000 coffee machine to have that.”
152 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Tues to Sat 8am–3pm