Philadelphia and Pennsylvania’s Black-owned gelato company Cloud Cups – and Gelato Artist Galen Thomas – debut their first-ever brick and mortar scoop shop in Fishtown. Cloud Cups Fishtown held a grand opening celebration on Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20, 202 at 2311 Frankford Avenue. The new scoop shop is located next to Pizza Brain, the world’s first Pizza Museum. Cloud Cups shares a dining room and a unique outdoor patio and courtyard with Pizza Brain. There is seating for 20 people inside and an additional 25+ outside.
The menu will feature handmade artisanal gelato and sorbet with 12 flavors at any one time from the menu of over 90 year-round flavors. New, Cloud Cups will debut the Cloud-Nini with a choice of gelato or sorbet nestled inside a fresh baked pastry. The menu will also include an assortment of additional flavors by the pint, gelato and sorbet milkshakes and beverages, gelato and sorbet flights, gelato and sorbet floats, other beverages and additional menu items on the way. Hours to start will be Thursday to Sunday, from 4:00pm to 10:00pm, with expanded days and times coming later this summer.
“I am so thankful and honored to be able to open my first-ever scoop shop in one of the hottest food neighborhoods in Philadelphia,” said Galen in a statement. “Since my early days of festivals, fairs and food truck events, I am finally able to call this my first home and welcome my first official guests. The demand for our gelato and sorbet has risen over the pandemic, and this is a dream come true. I partnered with Pizza Brain to use their space in my early years and this lets our guests have the best of both world’s amazing pizza and pies plus now a smooth creamy treat for dessert. This is our first scoop shop – but stay tuned as I am working on some exciting surprises for the summer and beyond. Please come say hi this weekend and let us show you what our artisanal gelato is all about.”
Cloud Cups is owned and operated by founder Galen Thomas, along with partners Kolade Oronti and Drew Posey. Thomas attended Frozen Dessert University in North Carolina and The Carpigiani Gelato University in Illinois. He founded the business officially in 2018 – and has continued to grow and expand first with mobile sales, his mobile gelato cart and now his first scoop shop. After the scoop shop is underway he will then pursue farmers’ markets, larger scale festivals, catering, weddings and special events. Down the road look for wholesaling and a second venue to be announced. Cloud Cups will also continue collaborations with other Philadelphia businesses. Cloud Cups is already working with French Toast Bites and Lokal Artisan Foods on their gelato and french toast bites gelato and sorbet for French Toast Bites at Spruce Street Harbor Park for this summer.
For his first location, Cloud Cups has brought his signature cart right into the store where Little Baby’s Ice Cream was formerly located. The space was fitted out and the kitchen space behind will allow for expanded menu items – including the new Cloud-ninis. Cloud Cups first connected with Pizza Brain when Cloud Cup used the space temporarily to produce gelato at the start of the pandemic until Cloud Cups secured a larger permanent commissary kitchen. Cloud Cups also partnered with Pizza Brain to host special events and pop-ups, including speakeasy pop-up nights in the back courtyard. After demand from those events, Pizza Brain and Cloud Cups installed a case for gelato pints to go – and the next natural progression was partnering on the scoop shop in the unused space/building next to Pizza Brain that connects on the inside through the shared dining room.
For the menu, Cloud Cups will offer a dozen rotating flavors from their entire catalog of 90 year-round and seasonal flavors – that also includes dairy-free and vegan options. The menu will also include additional flavors available in the pint. Other speciality treats will include the new Cloud-Nini where gelato and sorbet is nestled inside a fresh baked pastry, plus milkshakes, floats and BYO beer/cider/seltzer floats.