Cloudy Donut Co., a vegan bakery with branches on Harford Road and in Federal Hill, has stopped doing business in Baltimore.

Though its New York locations remain open, the bakeries in Maryland have been removed from the company’s website.

Co-owner Zewiditu Jewel said she “can’t operate a shop” in Baltimore while simultaneously “managing two in New York,” where the bakery has spots in the Brooklyn Heights and Nolita neighborhoods. However, Jewel expressed hope the Baltimore shops could resume operations if they can find new local partners.

“We would love to bring in a staff that can successfully run the business so that we can reopen,” she said.

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Derrick Faulcon, Jewel’s business and life partner who founded Cloudy Donut Co. and Home Maid, a South Baltimore brunch spot, did not respond to requests for comment.

Home Maid also appears to have shut down. A visit in late February to the restaurant’s 1400 Key Highway address, which was open only on weekends, showed the doors closed during operating hours. One customer wrote a week ago on the eatery’s most recent Instagram post from September that they had “stopped by Sunday with a friend of mine from out of town around noon, but everything was shut down. Y’all still open!?”

Home Maid was originally one of the restaurants featured as part of Black-Owned Restaurant Tour Week, an event sponsored by the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore to showcase local Black-owned businesses during the CIAA tournament. But the eatery was removed from the tour’s schedule ahead of the event’s kickoff. Organizer Azikiwe DeVeaux said in an email that he was told by Faulcon that Home Maid “was closing and therefore unable to participate in BORT this year.”

Cloudy Donut Co. co-owners Zewiditu Jewel and Derrick Faulcon in his Mount Vernon home in April 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

Derrick Faulcon told The Banner in an interview last year that his Baltimore businesses represented an effort to turn his life around after 11 years in federal prison. “The driving force behind everything with me is lifestyle,” he said at the time. “I wanted to own a home in Georgetown, a home on the Upper East Side and a home in Malibu. So I had to figure out a plan to get those things.”

Faulcon opened his first Home Maid restaurant in Towson before relocating to Key Highway. He launched the first Cloudy Donut Co. on Harford Road in 2020, adding a branch on South Charles Street in 2021. (The Banner reported last year that the latter Federal Hill location was temporarily closed.) When he expanded to Brooklyn, New York, in 2022, Cloudy Donut Co. was called the first Black-owned business in Brooklyn Heights.

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He and Jewel have since been featured on Sherri Shepherd’s talk show and written up in local media outlets. “People might think … coming from Maryland, that we’re kind of green and don’t really know the market,” Jewel told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle this year. But she and Faulcon are “passionate about building quality brands and luxury service” and have expanded quickly since arriving to the Big Apple.

Faulcon appears to have always had his sights set beyond the borders of Charm City. In an interview with The Banner last spring, he said, “I never had the mindset of, ‘I’m just gonna be here in Baltimore.’ I’m gonna provide the people with something great and keep going.”

Correction: This article has been updated to correct when Cloudy Donut Co. opened its Baltimore locations.

Christina Tkacik is the food reporter for The Baltimore Banner.

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