From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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 much copied by other companies.[2] The original 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 an angular typeface resembling ancient Greek, for example with an E resembling a capital sigma ("Σ", a letter pronounced like English "s"). 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 had fallen to about 200 million cups annually by 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 Goodfellas, The Sopranos, Archer, Brooklyn 99, NYPD Blue, Suits, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, the Law & Order franchise, Marvel's Daredevil, and Flight of the Conchords.

Buck never made royalties from his design, but as a salesman he was well-remunerated for 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. After 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. ^ Office Depot: Solo Jazz Waxed Paper Cold Cups

Further reading[edit]