Brooklyn Heights

Cloudy Donut serves vegan treats, and ‘reverse gentrification’

The Black-owned, women-operated shop opened in Brooklyn Heights with lines around the block.

October 25, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Cloudy Donut opened in Brooklyn Heights this past weekend with a line that stretched down tree-lined Columbia Heights, all the way to Adam Yauch Park.

“It’s true that Brooklyn is the world — especially when it comes to food,” said Zewiditu Jewel, the shop operator. “We are grateful for the support of the community who came out not only to get a taste of our sweets, but to see what we’re about: ethically crafted, small-batch, homemade donuts, and breaking barriers.”

The women-led store, which is a true mom-and-pop business, is Black-owned and operates in affluent areas to challenge the status quo.

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“I hope Black-owned shops will become more common in areas where you don’t expect to see people of color running things,” Jewel said. She calls it her version of “reverse gentrification.” Cloudy Donut’s Baltimore locations are in the trendy neighborhoods of Hamilton-Lauraville and Federal Hill.

The new outpost sits on an unsuspecting, largely residential block in Brooklyn Heights now inhabited by several world-class eateries including the recently-Michelin starred Clover Hill, which is also a Black-owned business. River Deli, a neighborhood institution, is situated on the corner, and NY Icery serves up a gelato to write home about mid-block.

Two employees working behind the counter at Cloudy Donut in Brooklyn Heights. Photo: Cloudy Donut Co.

 

“We are happy Cloudy Donut chose Willowtown for their first New York City outpost,” said Linda DeRosa, president of the Willowtown Association, a neighborhood preservation organization. “They are a welcome addition to the neighborhood.”

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Cloudy Donut served a variety of flavors at their ribbon cutting, which was on Thursday, and during their grand opening weekend which kicked off on Saturday. The flavors included Cookie Monster, Sexual Chocolate, Sweet Potato and Grapefruit Mimosa. Weekly flavors are released every Wednesday at noon on their website and social media pages.

Councilmember Lincoln Restler helped usher in the new business, and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Randy Peers praised the opening.

Cloudy Donut Brooklyn shop operator Zewiditu Jewel surrounded by Willowtown Association members. Photo: Cloudy Donut Co.

“Brooklyn welcomes Cloudy Donut and their delicious sweets,” Peers said. “We want to see more of Brooklyn’s melting pot in the small business community. I’m happy our borough has the first swipe at these sought-after sweets.”

Cloudy Donut is a 100% vegan, and does not use any dairy products or animal by-products in their donuts. They also serve coffee, vegan cookies and other vegan desserts.

Cloudy Donut caters not only to humans, but also pups with two canine-friendly flavors: “Lil Bow Wow” and “Snoop Doggy Donut.”

The store’s motto is “DoNUT stop believing!” This will be the first shop in New York, but the third in total as the business has two other locations in Baltimore.

The exterior of Cloudy Donut. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

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