Despite amassing a pretty large fanbase on TikTok and other forms of social media after opening in Baltimore in 2020 and all throughout the pandemic, it took Black-owned business Cloudy Donut two full years to finally establish a presence in New York.
It was all worth the wait, though, as owners Derrick and Justin Faulcon are trying to do more with their business than sell absolutely delicious vegan donuts in over 40 flavors.
“When we knew we wanted to come to New York, everyone was like, ‘Go to Bed-Stuy, go to Harlem,'” shop operator Zewiditu Jewel said to Brooklyn Magazine. “While we love those places and I’ve lived in both areas, we wanted to do something different.”
In fact, Jewel mentions that Cloudy Donut’s founders seek “to reverse gentrify” and therefore pick shop addresses that might sound a bit counterintuitive at first impact. “It’s this ideology that we come in as a Black business to affluent neighborhoods for visibility not only to Black people but also to places that maybe aren’t used to seeing Black business owners,” Jewel noted to the outlet.
That mentality led the store owners to stake a claim at 14 Columbia Place by Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Brooklyn specifically and New York City as a whole.
Onto the donuts, which are, as you may expect, as fluffy and light as they come, certainly earning a spot on our list of best donuts in NYC: entirely vegan, the treats are made with ingredients like apple sauce instead of egg, each one a concoction of unique flavors hard to come by at other local shops.
The flavors rotate weekly, but a mere look at what this week’s lineup features will give you a good idea of what’s to come. The menu includes a pumpkin spice latte creation (duh!), a maple butter pecan one, a cookies and cream option, a lemon poppy donut, a strawberry version, a peanut butter and jelly choice, a delicious chai sugar treat and a relativele simply powdered donut. All the options are as tasty as they sound. Check out the week’s selection on the company’s official website.
In true 2022 fashion, Cloudy Donut is a business with a message that goes beyond financials. Whether it will succeed at its de-gentrification goal is yet to be seen, but we’re sure excited to be part of the story as New York residents.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.