Pinky Cole is not your average vegan entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Slutty Vegan, a booming restaurant chain and national brand that serves plant-based burgers with provocative names and flavors. She is also a philanthropist, a cookbook author, and a visionary who aims to build a billion-dollar vegan food empire.
Cole started Slutty Vegan in 2018 out of a shared kitchen space in Atlanta, after her previous restaurant in New York City was destroyed by a fire in 2016. She used her experience as a television producer and casting director to create a buzz around her concept, which combines vegan food with hip-hop culture and social activism.
Slutty Vegan quickly became a sensation, attracting long lines of customers, both vegans and meat-eaters, who wanted to try the burgers with names like One Night Stand, Fussy Hussy, and Hollywood Hooker. The restaurant also gained celebrity fans like Snoop Dogg, Taraji P. Henson, and Tyler Perry, who helped spread the word on social media.
Cole expanded Slutty Vegan to four locations in Atlanta, as well as a food truck and a catering service. She also opened other vegan businesses, such as Bar Vegan, a plant-based bar and restaurant, and the Big Dave Cheesesteak, a vegan version of the Philly classic. In 2022, she received a $25 million investment from Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, who joined her board of directors.
Cole’s vision is to make Slutty Vegan a global brand that can compete with the likes of McDonald’s and Burger King. She plans to open more locations across the US and abroad, such as New York, Alabama, Texas, and Brooklyn, as well as launch her own line of vegan products and merchandise. She also wants to educate people about the benefits of veganism and inspire them to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
But Cole is not just about making money. She is also passionate about giving back to the community, especially the Black community in Atlanta. Through her nonprofit, the Pinky Cole Foundation, she has donated money to pay off student debts, bail out protesters, support Black-owned businesses, and provide scholarships and mentorship to young entrepreneurs. The foundation also focuses on empowering generations of color to win in life, financially, and in the pursuit of their entrepreneurial dreams. It offers educational programs, networking events, and thought leadership to help teens, college students, and younger adults become fearless entrepreneurs. The foundation has also provided laptops, school supplies and coats to students, donated 100,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables, and ignited conversations around voting and programs that support entrepreneurship.
Cole’s story is one of tribulation and triumph, of overcoming failure and achieving success. She is a role model for many young women who aspire to be entrepreneurs and leaders. She is also a force for positive change in the world of food and beyond.
We want to celebrate Cole today for being a go-getter, and an enterprising woman. You are truly a Rising African and an able role model for the new African. Rising Africa is a dynamic platform that highlights the remarkable achievements of Africans worldwide and provides up-to-date information on scholarships and sponsorships available to African youth. Our vision is to inspire and empower the next generation of African leaders by showcasing the diverse accomplishments and talents of Africans across different fields, including technology, business, arts and culture, and social activism.
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