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Story of the Cup Logo

By permission of the Solo Cup Company

(click for slideshow)
Angela Jimenez for The New York Times

In the late 1950s, Leslie Buck, the chief salesman for Sherri Cup, sought to enter New York's coffee cup market by designing a classically inspired cup to appeal to the growing number of Greek diner owners. Buck named the design for the cup "Anthora," a mis-pronunciation of "amphora," the name of the Greek vase that graces the cup's sides. It has inspired numerous copies.

Born Laszlo Büch to a Czechoslovakian Jewish family, Leslie Buck came to New York after his parents were killed by the Nazis in World War II and he himself had survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald. 

As we looked for a symbol for City Semester: the Bronx Experience, we thought of the cup from which we had all enjoyed gallons of great coffee over the years; the cup that the producers of Law and Order, the quintessential New York TV show, had purchased in bulk, so that audiences would always know that the action took place in the Big Apple. We also liked the multiple readings of the "We Are Happy To Serve You" phrase for a program dedicated to community service. When we discovered that the cup was the product of an inspiring New York story - an immigrant Jewish Holocaust survivor's desire to connect with immigrant Greek diner owners, and to make a buck (pun intended) in the process - well, we decided on it in a New York minute.

The Solo Cup Company graciously agreed to give us permission, and the rest is... history.

The historical material for this narrative came from two articles in the New York Times:

Leslie Buck, Designer of Iconic Coffee Cup, Dies at 87

April 30, 2010 - By MARGALIT FOX 

June 26, 2005 - By JOHN FREEMAN GILL