How a Small LA Coffee Shop's Cup Sleeves Became the Go-To Marketing Vehicle for Billion-Dollar Brands

The story of Alfred Coffee and its trendy rings of cardboard

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Six years ago, a staffer from Kelly Wearstler’s studio stopped by Alfred Coffee in West Hollywood to fetch a bunch of cappuccinos and vanilla lattes for the office. This was nothing especially out of the ordinary, since the indie coffee shop and the headquarters of the acclaimed furniture and interior designer were just a few blocks apart. Besides, even on a bad day, L.A. has no shortage of trendy people walking around.

But when the staffer casually asked if the shop might be in need of any design services, owner Josh Zad perked up.

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