Sweet Cup Gelato & Sorbet is growing. The local business has expanded and opened their second location in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest at 3444 Ella Boulevard this year, and are opening their first manufacturing facility this spring to keep up with product demands and whole sale offerings.
Before the business and brand were put into place, owner Jasmine Chida made gelato at home as a passion project. She went on her honeymoon with her husband to Italy and fell in love with the gelato she found in the European country.
“I came back to Houston and just couldn’t find that Italian gelato I fell in love with,” Sweet Cup owner Jasmine Chida said. “I started making it at home, for dinner parties with friends and it sparked a business idea.”
That business idea fruited value and in 2012, Chida opened her first concept in Montrose at 3939 Montrose Blvd. – showcasing her traditional Italian gelato and sorbet with her personal spin on each recipe. What sets Sweet Cup Gelato apart from the rest is variety and offerings. Since 2012, Chida has crafted over 200 recipes – she joked that she stopped counting after 200 – and each of these recipes are rotated through the seasons.
“You can mix and match and we have a wide variety of flavors, dairy free options, gluten free options, and everything is made with locally sourced products – organic when we can – and we don’t add in any artificial additives,” Chida said. “We make all of our waffle cones in-house, too.”
Of the 200+ flavors, Chida said she prides herself in adding customer flavor requests and working with the seasons on ingredients that are available. Seasonal flavors are also a fun project of Chida’s – her most recent flavor partnered with BB’s Café and using their King Cake recipe for the King Cake Gelato offered for a limited time. She’s even got a rodeo flavor coming soon that showcases barbecue flavors from a local BBQ restaurant. Sweet Cup also has a few signature flavors like the Vanilla Bean Tres Leches, Texan Kulfi and the H-Town Blue Moon. You can find some of these flavors in Central Market and Whole Foods, and at the Montrose and Ella Boulevard location when in stock.
Currently, all gelato and sorbet are made out of a small kitchen in their Montrose shop. Keeping up with demands, Chida is currently building out a manufacturing facility at the old Ruthie’s Bar in Montrose to serve both of her locations and whole sale offerings.
“We started our whole sale line in 2015 in Whole Foods Market; 2016 in Central Market,” she said. “After that, we started expanding and outgrowing our kitchen space in Montrose and for the past year have been working on our manufacturing facility. The fact that we are growing is a good challenge. The manufacturing facility will be great – not only will it give us the capacity to store more flavors and make more product, but we can also open it up to our communities and offer classes, field trips and we feel like this would be a great resource for both of our neighborhoods we serve.”
With Sweet Cup’s focus on moving into the manufacturing facility, the Montrose and Ella stores will scale down from their current 24 flavor offerings to now offering 18. After the transition, both locations will be ready to offer their 24 rotating flavors again.
Moving into the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest neighborhood has been rewarding for Chida.
“I love Montrose for its innovation and creativity – it’s like a food meca there,” she said. “What I love about Garden Oaks and Oak Forest is that it has that great sense of community. I love the fact that they are a tight nit community, they love and support the community and appreciate small businesses. Having that sense of pride in local business is really warming – and very rare – and Garden Oaks and Oak Forest are all about that.”
While interviewing Chida, artist Rosa Garcia was working on a mural that pays homage to the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest neighborhood. You can find tributes to Patrick Swayze, local restaurants like Doyle’s, Gatlin’s and even MytiBurger. Chida chatted with each neighborhood’s homeowner association to get feedback on her mural and said, “we couldn’t fit everyone, but it’s our way to appreciate this community.”
Sweet Cup Gelato is located here in the neighborhood at 3444 Ella Blvd. and sister location at 3939 Montrose Blvd. Find them on Facebook at Sweet Cup Gelato & Sorbet or online at www.sweetcupgelato.com.