Chock full o’Nuts

Brand Refresh

How might we bring new life to a tired brand?


This was live client work.

The ask: Make Chock full o’Nuts a recognized brand.

The problem: Chock full o’Nuts has lost its identity.

The solution: A brand refresh that captures the essence of the Chock brand for the 21st century.



Chock full O’Nuts was created in 1932 when William Black transformed his roasted nut shops into cafés during the Great Depression. Back in the day, Chock cafés were as ubiquitous as Starbucks stores are today. They were part of the soul of New York City.


Today, Chock clings to its role in New York City history, but brand recognition is low- and so is association with NYC. The brand’s traditional stronghold in the Northeast is declining, and consumers who remember the Chock heyday are dying out.


Chock full o’Nuts has lost its identity. They’re a nostalgic brand at best.

Cultural truth

While many daydream about the city that never sleeps- the home of Broadway and high fashion- it’s the other side of New York, the worker’s New York, that makes the city what it is. It’s a place that teaches and exudes grit.

Brand truth

Chock full o’Nuts is a no-nonsense, no- frills cup of joe. Chock understands what we really use coffee for and doesn’t apologize for not romanticizing it.


Chock full o’Nuts understands the people who drink it.



Chock is the coffee that gets grit.


Brand refresh






Print ads


Out of home




From → To

Nostalgic → Meaningful

Vague → On brand

Coffee → People

Final Thoughts

I loved working on this project because I love uncovering the real core & essence of a brand. By identifying an aspect of New York that was true to Chock, we were able to push the brand into a more relevant and meaningful space. Plus there was lots of free coffee.


Made with this gritty gang:

Chorong Kim (strategy)

Kaitie Kovach (strategy)

Josh Browne (copywriting)

Charlotte Simons (art direction)

Sailee Gupte (experience design)

Meghan Gaffney (experience design)