RIP 'We Are Happy to Serve You' Coffee Cups?

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Photograph from valentinapowers on Flickr

In the paper cup world, this one is pretty famous, but it may soon be as endangered as the Florida manatee. Jeremiah of the blog Jeremiah's Vanishing New York recently ordered a chocolate egg cream at Ray's Candy Store, excepting it to come in the typical short blue cup with iconic Greek font, spelling out the chipper "We Are Happy to Serve You" message. But it didn't. Instead it came in a Wolfgang Puck coffee cup. Lame.

It's becoming harder and harder to find corner bodegas and street carts serving hot beverages in these cups—instead, they're being replaced with those advertising pharmaceuticals, banks, or something else you probably don't care as much about. City Room recently investigated this endangered cup species, noting that the new wave of random cups "are called 'misprints'... they are overruns, discontinued prints, leftovers from promotions, or the results of cup-using vendors who go bankrupt, leaving the manufacturer with unwanted cups."

It all started in the mid-1960s when the Sherri Cup Company of Kensington, Connecticut, designed the cup for the hundreds of Greek coffee shops operating in the city, noted Rodger Stevens in this New York Times piece in 2005. "Greek motifs continue to adorn up to 40 percent of 10-ounce cardboard cups in New York," Stevens pointed out.

But, sigh, that was the statistic in 2005. If you are nervous about the sustainability of the WAHTSY cup, you can order them in bulk here.

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