Entrepreneur Makes History, Opens Newest Black-Owned Gelato Shop in Philadelphia

Galen Thomas

Galen Thomas, an African American entrepreneur and culinary artist, has opened Cloud Cups, the first and only Black-owned gelato shop in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A native of West Oak Lane with a passion for gelato, Galen's shop promises a delightful experience with its diverse array of flavors and immersive atmosphere.

Cloud Cups boasts a spacious 2,000-square-foot venue, accommodating up to 50 customers. The shop features a cozy lounge area, a retail section, and an upcoming gelato-making workshop, according to Eater. Designed with a whimsical "cloud" aesthetic, the shop showcases dreamy floors by Raheem Spataccino and colorful murals by renowned graphic artist Justin Richburg.

For Thomas, who graduated from Frozen Dessert University and Carpigiani Gelato University, this marks a significant milestone in his five-year journey in the gelato industry. What started as a humble scoop truck has now become a flagship location, complete with tastings, events, and more.

Thomas credits much of his success to the late Charisse McGill of French Toast Bites, who supported him along the way. To honor her legacy, he's crafted two special flavors featuring her famous French Toast Bites.

Cloud Cups delights customers with a rotating selection of 36 gelato and sorbet flavors, including traditional and experimental varieties. Vegan and non-dairy options are also available, catering to diverse preferences. They've also teamed up with local businesses like the Cheesecake Lady and Bean 2 Bean Coffee Company to create unique flavors that celebrate Philly's culinary diversity.

In addition to indulging in delectable treats, customers can browse specialty merchandise, including graphic t-shirts and gelato-scented candles made by Thomas' fiancée. Cloud Cups also plans to host gelato-making workshops soon.

Learn more about the brand via its official website CloudCupsGelato.com

Be sure to follow them on Instagram @CloudCupsGelato

Also, you can support the business by visiting its locations at 3525 I Street, Kensington, Philadelphia, PA.

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