cloudy donuts, Black-owned, first, year, operations, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Heights’ First Black-Owned Food Business, Cloudy Donut, Celebrates A Year In Operation

Cloudy Donut has a cause for celebration. The first Black-owned food business is celebrating its one-year anniversary in Brooklyn Heights, New York, this October.

Founded in 2020 by Derrick Faulcon and Zewiditu Jewel, the donut shop has turned into a franchise chain, with its first locations starting in Baltimore. Through Cloudy Donut’s success, the business and life partners expanded into Brooklyn Heights, making a name in the sweet eatery sector not only for their delicious vegan treats but for their diversity.

Since finding its third home in Brooklyn Heights’ Willowtown section, the business has become a neighborhood hotspot and for those wanting to voyage from TikTok. According to Brooklyn Heights Blog, the vegan donuts have received rave reviews in Time Out New York and the Wall Street Journal.

Known for its gourmet, vegan donuts made in small batches, the weekly rotation of 44  creations for customers and their pups has become a part of its brand. Past selections include sweet potato pie, salted caramel whiskey, and strawberry champagne.

The reason for going vegan is straightforward. The owners wanted to maintain the “integrity” of the dough of its original recipe while utilizing the benefits of vegan alternatives to better serve people of color, especially when it comes to systemic health conditions.

“So, we wanted to keep the integrity of the dough and why not vegan,” Jewel told Brooklyn Heights Blog. “I mean, if there’s a way you can use vegan butter, because Earth Balance does exist, instead of traditional butter. We know people within the Black, Brown, and Asian communities are plagued with heart disease and diabetes. We can provide a healthier alternative and that’s exactly what we’ll continue to do. It was just about finding a quality product and sticking with it.”

Being an example for the communities they serve is part of their foundation.

“I think being an entrepreneur in today’s society specifically for a Black man is not an accessory, is a necessity, is essential,” Faulcon shared with theGrio in June. “[It’s] the only way that will bridge the wealth gap in America. It’s the only way that we’ll provide our family with assets to be able to bequeath and leave behind. It’s the only way we’ll be able to employ our people.”