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Can a Paper Coffee Cup Represent an Entire City Like New York?

Can a Paper Coffee Cup Represent an Entire City Like New York? Probably not, but it sure can be considered a pop-culture totem.

When you see pictures, or watch movies, with the Empire State Building, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty in them, it’s pretty obvious that you think of the great city of New York. Being fortunate enough to see and experience these landmarks on a daily basis has eventually worn off the initial “wow” factor. Seven years later and many cups of coffee consumed, the “wow” factor was once again restored when I bought a $2 cup of coffee from a street vendor in Midtown.

The actual coffee was nothing to write about, but what was surrounding the coffee was what immediately put a smile on my face. You may refer to it as the blue “Happy to Serve You” coffee cup that you have seen in countless movies and television shows (like Law & Order), but they refer to it as the “Anthora” cup!

The iconic Anthora cup was created in the 1960s by a holocaust survivor named, Leslie Buck, in an effort to break into the coffee cup market. This blue and white Grecian designed cup has since become a symbol of this great city of New York – spurring a frenzy of knock-off designs and merchandise. Mr. Buck’s cup was blue, with a white ring at the top and bottom; down each side was a drawing of the Greek vase known as an amphora (some later imitators depict fluted white columns; others show a discus thrower). On front and back, Mr. Buck emblazoned the Anthora with three steaming golden coffee cups. Above them, in lettering that suggests a Classical inscription, was the Anthora’s very soul — the motto. It has appeared in many variant texts since then; Mr. Buck’s original text was simply this:

We Are Happy To Serve You.

Unfortunately, the Anthora no longer dominates the urban streets as it once did – but it still can be found at diners, delis and food carts citywide. And as I finished that mediocre cup of coffee – a piece of New York symbolism found itself in a nearby trash can faster than a New York minute.

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BouliBrand is a boutique marketing + entrepreneurship + communications + branding movement focused on creating vibrant, purposeful and revenue-generating media experiences on a partner-by-partner basis. With strategic partnerships in New York, Toronto, Athens, Los Angeles, New Delhi and Shanghai, we work directly with savvy, driven and optimistic clients wanting to produce fresh platforms of communication and target nouveau markets internationally with their startup businesses and services. BouliBrand is propelled by Georgios (George) Stroumboulis (Γιώργος Στρουμπούλης) - an internationally seasoned marketing professional with tangible business experiences across multiple industries and diverse cultures. To learn more about BouliBrand, Georgios and the stimulating team spearheading the BouliBrand movement forward, get in contact at www.BouliBrand.com, www.Facebook.com/BouliBrand, www.Twitter.com/Stroumboulis (@stroumboulis), www.Instagram.com/Stroumboulis (@stroumboulis), www.LinkedIn.com/in/Stroumboulis, www.YouTube.com/Stroumboulis or www.Pinterest.com/BouliBrand. We all have opinions, thoughts and comments about various topics in our daily lives. Stroumboulis likes to write about his in this Opinion / Blog section. Topics and commentary may include: business, culture, Hellenism, entrepreneurship, start-ups, development, branding, marketing, financing, investment and many others. To suggest new blog ideas, please contact Georgios via his contact page at BouliBrand.com.

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