It’s Back: The Iconic Anthora Greek Coffee Cup Returns to the New York Market


“We are happy to serve you” Anthora cup featured in numerous TV shows and movies now available

The original is back! The Anthora cup – a movie and TV star in its own right – has returned after a nine-year hiatus in the New York City market.

The paper cup with Greek-inspired colors, lettering, accents and traditional amphora urn was once the definitive coffee cup of New York City. Its popularity caused it to be frequently copied by competitors, licensed for souvenirs and hunted by collectors during its absence from regular circulation. It’s now available for wholesale distributors to stock on shelves for purchase by restaurants, coffee shops, diners, commissaries, food carts and other establishments.

“The Anthora became an iconic symbol in and of New York City,” said Linda Greenman, market research analyst with Dart Container Sales Company. “Coffee sellers and drinkers don’t have to settle for pretenders anymore. The true Anthora – called iconic, ubiquitous and symbolic in its heyday – is ready to take its place as the comeback cup.”

The cup was created in 1963 by Leslie Buck, marketing director of the then-Sherri Cup Co. He was looking for a design that would appeal to the Greek immigrants who owned many New York diners – and he struck steaming black gold with the Anthora coffee cup.

MPS/Malachy April 2016 Top

The cup came to symbolize New York’s on-the-go lifestyle. And if ever a cup became a movie or television star, it was the Anthora. Coffee from any movie or TV show set in New York had to be sipped from an Anthora cup. The cup has been filmed in the hands of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jon Hamm, Tommy Lee Jones and many others.

Its sales topped 500 million cups in 1994. Twelve years later, it was discontinued as a stock item as popular coffee house franchises began replacing diners as the take-out morning stop for coffee lovers. The Anthora cup lived on in other products though. The Museum of Modern Art started selling ceramic mug versions of the cup. The cup’s likeness was licensed for coin purses, cufflinks and watches. And knock-offs of its design (with wording slightly different from its familiar “We Are Happy to Serve You” messaging) continued to sell.

Due to numerous requests from restaurant owners and distributors, Dart Container is bringing back the Anthora cup in  8 oz. and 10 oz. sizes in New York City and some northeastern states. Wholesale distributors who wish to stock the cup for their customers should call Dart at (800) 248-5960.