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For the plant species, see Aconitum anthora.
Anthora cup - "We are happy to serve you"

The Anthora is a paper coffee cup design that has become iconic of New York City daily life.[1] Its name is a play on the word amphora.

The cup was originally designed by Leslie Buck of the Sherri Cup Co. in 1963,[1] to appeal to Greek-owned coffee shops in New York City — and was later copied heavily by other companies.[2] The genuine Anthora depicts an image of an Ancient Greek amphora, a Greek key design on the top and bottom rim, and the words "WE ARE HAPPY TO SERVE YOU" in a typeface that is intended to resemble ancient Greek writing. The blue and white colors were inspired by the flag of Greece. The cup subsequently became the metropolitan area's definitive coffee-to-go cup.[2]

Sales of the cup reached 500 million in 1994 (when it was by far the most popular design for the company's cups[3] ), but fell to about 200 million cups annually in 2005.[1] One New York Times writer in 1995 called the Anthora "perhaps the most successful cup in history".[3] By 2007, it was mentioned in passing in a New York Times television review as "one of those endangered artifacts".[4]

The trademark was acquired by the Solo Cup Company, which licenses sales of the cup.[5] The Anthora coffee cup is featured in movies and television shows that are set in New York such as " Brooklyn 99",NYPD Blue, Nurse Jackie, Castle, Lipstick Jungle, Damages, Mad Men, "Men in Black" and the Law & Order franchise.[6]

Buck never made royalties from his design, but as a salesman he was remunerated handsomely from the success of the product. When he retired from Sherri Cup Co. in 1992, he was presented with 10,000 Anthoras printed with a testimonial inscription. On the occasion of Buck's death in 2010, a New York Times writer described the motto on the cup as having "welcome intimations of tenderness, succor and humility".[1]

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Margalit Fox (April 29, 2010). "Leslie Buck, Designer of Iconic Coffee Cup, Dies at 87". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b John Freeman Gill (June 26, 2005). "Urban History to Go: Black, No Sugar". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ a b Jesse McKinley (October 15, 1995). "F.Y.I./A Cup of Inspiration". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ Virginia Heffernan (May 27, 2007). "To Sleep, Nay, Perchance to Stay Wide Awake". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ The New York First Company
  6. ^ Cassie Spodak (April 30, 2010). "Iconic coffee cup creator dies". CNN. Archived from the original on April 30, 2010. 
  7. ^ Office Depot: Solo Jazz Waxed Paper Cold Cups

Further reading[edit]