Congratulations are in order for Cloudy Donut. The doughnut shop, which is also Brooklyn Heights’ first Black-owned food business, is celebrating its one-year anniversary.

According to The Grio, Cloudy Donut was founded in 2020 by Derrick Faulcon and his business and life partner Zewiditu Jewel. They opened the chain’s first and second locations in Baltimore, and decided to branch out last year to Brooklyn Heights. Nestled in the quiet, mostly unknown Willowtown area, Cloudy Donut’s Brooklyn Heights location has shaken up the neighborhood, turning it into a lively hot spot, Brooklyn Heights Blog reported.

Cloudy Donut offers tasty vegan treats for both humans and dogs. Their 44 flavors are unique and rotate every week. Some fan-favorite flavors are sweet potato pie, lemon blueberry pound cake, strawberry Champagne, blueberry sage, cookie butter, salted caramel whiskey, bananas foster and creme brûlée. 

The chain is also exploring partnerships with other brands, such as Oatly, an oat milk company, according to Brooklyn Heights Blog.

Of what inspired them to enter the vegan doughnut game, Jewel confessed the opportunity fell into their laps.

“To be honest, there is no real reason why we chose vegan doughnuts. I know people want to hear this amazing story about it,” she told Brooklyn Heights Blog. “As I said, Derrick had acquired a preexisting doughnut shop. He’d been going there for quite a few months for R&D (research and development), and he thought the product was amazing. I also really liked the doughnuts. I’m not a person who loves sweets, and I was blown away.”

Jewel said “the product is ridiculous, it’s wild, it’s amazing,” which is evident on Cloudy Donut’s social media. For its anniversary, the company shared video clips of customers enjoying their treats.

Though the quality of the product is undeniable, Jewel said their success is due to how they’ve approached the business.

“We absolutely attribute some of our success to who we are, and this is only the beginning for us,” she said. “We are so happy that people are coming to Brooklyn Heights for the first time, seeing the neighborhood and falling in love with the neighborhood, and that’s the goal.”

Back in June, Faulcon opened up about his go-getting mentality and their impact on the community.

“My whole goal was how can I build something that’s so dynamic that it can help me change my situation,” Faulcon told the Grio. “And then how can I build it up so big and not only change my situation but change the situation of my family dynamic and other people can fit their goal underneath my goal.

He added that he “always had a mentality [that] nobody’s going to give me nothing. I grew up looking up to people like Master P, like JAY-Z, people who built businesses by doing all of the things themselves. Nipsey Hussle was a big influence too, as well, in the sense of vertical integration. Being able to own yourself and own the processes that go into the final result of your product or your service.

The Cloudy Donut founder also shared that he hopes other Black men follow in his footsteps.

“I think being an entrepreneur in today’s society specifically for a Black man is not an accessory, is a necessity, is essential,” he told the Grio. “[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.”