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Around this time last year, Steve and Natasha Gordijn arrived in Nashville to prepare for the November opening of 37 Degrees Sth, a quiet Melbourne-style coffee house and cafe in Belle Meade.
The couple's decision to leave their corporate jobs in Australia to live in Nashville was sparked by two passions: Natasha's dream of owning a cafe and Steve's love for music.
The cafe, which shares a lobby with Juice Bar, serves coffee, gourmet sandwiches, salads and a weekend brunch. While you may be familiar with items like avocado toast and other breakfast sandwiches, you’ll also see savory meat pies and Melbourne-style coffee, both of which are a nod to the Gordigns former home.
Q&A with co-owner Steve Gordijn
Can you tell us about the coffee served here and how it’s different than US coffee?
When we decided to open a coffee shop, we thought it made sense to serve Australian coffee. It has a different flavor and way of roasting … a much smoother blend. But it goes beyond the coffee because our type of service is also different. Most coffee shops here are always in a rush. We wanted to provide a space where people can meet up for coffee in a way that feels more like a restaurant than a traditional coffee shop.
What do you enjoy most about owning a coffee shop in Nashville, and more specifically Belle Meade?
When we decided to open a cafe in Nashville, we wanted it to have the feeling of a true neighborhood coffee shop. That works well here in Belle Meade. Not only is there Southern hospitality, but there’s a great love between Americans and Australians here. The thing about Nashville is a lot of people are from somewhere else and that creates a diversity about the town. We love that.
I see there’s a story behind the name 37 Degrees Sth?
Natasha is from Auckland, New Zealand, and I’m from Melbourne, Australia. When you’re naming a restaurant, it’s like naming a baby. So during that process, we looked at both cities and realized they are both on the 37 parallel south. By naming it 37 Degrees Sth we were able to bring part of that culture. It creates a great talking point, and we’ve even put the story up on the wall.
Dylan Skye Aycock is a Nashville-based journalist and photographer. As a reporter for Rover, Aycock follows transportation, housing and retail trends, as well as other hyperlocal and city-wide issues that affect residents in Green Hills and Belle Meade.
She previously contributed written and visual content to The Murfreesboro Pulse, American Songwriter Magazine and The Tennessean. Aycock earned a journalism degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where she honed her craft as editor-in-chief of Sidelines, the university's student-run publication. When she's not out on assignment or live-tweeting city council meetings, you can find her discovering new local spots or catching a show at one of Nashville's many music venues.