Cloudy Donut Co., First Black-Owned Business in Brooklyn Heights Will Have Your Tastebuds On Cloud Nine

Cloudy Donut Co., First Black-Owned Business in Brooklyn Heights Will Have Your Tastebuds On Cloud Nine

Cloudy Donut Co. is a new vegan doughnut shop that made history as the first Black-owned business in New York’s Brooklyn Heights.

According to VegNews, the food and beverage business was founded in 2020 by restaurateur Derrick Faulcon, and it produces over 40 vegan doughnut flavors, including classics such as Chocolate Glaze, Boston Cream, and Powdered Jelly.

“[Being the first] means a great deal to us, and we’re proud of it, but it’s just the first step,” Zewiditu Ruffin, Cloudy Donut Co.‘s partnerships director and Brooklyn Heights shop operator, told VegNews.



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Faulcon was inspired to get into the business after frequenting Donut Alliance, another vegan doughnut shop near his brunch spot, Home Maid. After inquiring about entering a partnership with the owners, he was approached with an unexpected response when they offered to sell the business and move on.

“There was already a small, built-in audience with Donut Alliance,” Ruffin said.

“While our brunch [at Home Maid] is not vegan, our customers trusted that if we could make a quality brunch, of course, they would try the doughnuts.”

Ruffin, who has been with the business since the beginning, shared that reverse gentrification is an important element of their business model.

“Reverse gentrification is this ideology that we bring out Black-owned businesses into predominantly white, affluent neighborhoods in order to bring visibility, diversity, and awareness,” Ruffin explained.

“We’re bringing quality products, connecting with the local community, and hiring a [diverse group] of people who don’t have to have a culinary background.”

“We knew Cloudy Donut Co. was going to be a sensation, there were going to be lines, and we wanted the community to have the first bite,” Ruffin said, noting the exclusive neighborhood event that took place before the business opened officially.

“We didn’t want to come in and say, ‘We just work here.'”

“[Faulcon] and I have a goal to uplift and provide education to Black and people of color that are interested in the culinary space,” Ruffin said.

“We want to provide specific systems and education to people and create a conversation that isn’t being had.”

Along with other signature flavors like Grapefruit Mimosa, Mango Chili Lime, and Sweet Potato, the shop offers two dog-friendly doughnut options for customers with furry companions.

Cloudy Donut Co. operates from three locations, including one in Baltimore’s Federal Hill neighborhood.