"Everything we do at SweetCup is based on what our customers want," says owner Jasmine Chida.
Since opening her store — which is famous for its local take on the Indian frozen sweet treat known as Texan kulfi — in 2012, Chida says much of the input has been that suburbanites often choose to dine in Montrose with dessert at SweetCup as a goal. In the past year, she began looking toward the areas of the Heights, Garden Oaks and Oak Forest as possible locations in which to open a second store. Deciding she wanted to be outside the Loop this time, she eliminated the Heights and settled on Garden Oaks, which she describes as "a cute, seriously underrated neighborhood."
And fate was conspiring in SweetCup's favor. Chida had been looking at Garden Oaks locations for a year when Dan Braun of Braun Enterprises approached her at a product demonstration at Central Market, which carries pints of her gelato. Braun is a landlord at Ella Plaza, the strip mall in which Union Kitchen recently opened its latest location. He thought SweetCup would be an ideal addition to the neighborhood. "It was the right time to strike while the iron's hot," Chida says.
She plans to open her second gelateria in spring 2017, hopefully late March, if construction goes as planned. Chida says that popular flavors, including Texan kulfi and bourbon-caramel, will be available but that others will differ from those available in Montrose. She hints at "other new details" that she's not yet ready to discuss and hasn't yet settled on what the flavor count will be at the new store.
But when it comes to what novel tastes new customers will enjoy, she says she'll be listening to her neighborhood regulars. "Gelato can be whatever you want it to be," she says. "I want it to be approachable—that’s why we’re SweetCup."