New Tradition Starts With Santa’s Mailbox Stationed at The Ugly Mug Coffee House


A new Christmas tradition has come to Burbank thanks to the family-owned business, The Ugly Mug Coffee House. A bright red Santa’s Mailbox can be seen in front of the coffee shop along Burbank Blvd with stunning handprinted lettering and a promise to keep Christmas magic alive for the boys and girls of the community.

Owners of the Ugly Mug Coffee House, Steve, and Emily Nalbantian, met at the young age of 19 while at work and would spend their breaks and time off sipping coffee over conversation and dreamt of one day having a coffee shop to call their own.  Flash-forward to today and Steve, Emily, and their three sons have made their dream come true with The Ugly Mug Coffee House.

Steve was born in a small town in Valence, France before moving to Burbank in 1993 and Emily was born in Burbank and after moving away for a time, found herself back in their beloved city years later.  Their eclectic background and love for the community can be seen in their shop, which provides old age, cozy, American/European feel that they are proud to call their own.  “Our vision with The Ugly Mug Coffee House is to bring our community closer together in a friendly environment and to do life over a cup of coffee or tea. We always wanted to build a safe place for High School kids and Middle school kids to come and spend time or do homework. The perfect place for neighbors to get together and even have business meetings,” says Steve.    

The Ugly Mug Coffee House has been a community staple since they opened and has donated and supported countless school events, programs, associations, police foundations, religious organizations, sports teams and more. This year Steve created The Letters to Santa Mail Box so children and adults could mail out their letters to the North Pole. “We wanted to start a new tradition in our town for children to express their feelings, write their request to Santa and keep the Holiday of Christmas Magical and exciting for everyone,” adds Steve. “We wanted Santa’s Mail Box to be large, visible, bright, and magical so that everyone can feel the spirit of Christmas.”

Santa’s Mail Box was handcrafted by Emily’s father, Steve Harriman, who is a Burroughs graduate of Class of 71’ and a talented sign maker. The mailbox can be found in front of the coffee shop and kids are encouraged to come inside to grab a template letter to Santa that they can write while sitting inside the shop sipping some hot chocolate. Letters dropped off with a return address might even get a magical response back from the North Pole. “We hope that Santa’s Mail Box can be a long-time tradition and for kids to build Christmas Memories. We want every believer to look forward to seeing it out every year and maybe someday bring their own kids to continue this Ugly Mug tradition,” says Steve.

Visit The Ugly Mug Coffee House at 3112 W Burbank Blvd and join in on a little Christmas magic.