A trifecta of community, commerce and compassion, Pinky Cole is a serial entrepreneur, brand strategist and CEO/founder & visionary of Bar Vegan, Slutty Vegan – a nationally acclaimed, Atlanta-based burger joint offering creative takes on plant-based burgers with names like PLT, Fussy Hussy and One Night Stand – and The Pinky Cole Foundation – a charitable organization dedicated to empowering under- served populations with the resources to help break cycles of poverty. Born and raised in East Baltimore, Cole started her entrepreneurial journey early through creating business plans and side-hustles with friends and family members during high school. She moved to Atlanta to attend Clark Atlanta University, and while she quickly became enamored with the city, she decided to pursue acting in Los Angeles upon graduation and later worked as a successful television producer in New York City and Connecticut.
Pinky made national headlines for raising 25 million in series A funding and the company has been valued at over 100 million. Pinky has graced the cover of Essence Magazine & INC 5000 , as well as featured in Business Insider, Washington Post, People Magazine, Forbes, and dozens more media outlets as one of the world’s most prominent and outspoken celebrities in food and philanthropy. Pinky opened new Slutty Vegan locations in 2022 including the latest in Birmingham, Alabama & Brooklyn, New York with another 10 planned for 2023.
Pinky Cole has also taken her expertise to the literary world with her new book released in Fall 2022, just nominated for an NAACP Award. With mouth-watering photographs and easy-to-follow instructions, Pinky’s first recipe book Eat Plants, B*tch celebrates her belief that it’s fun and accessible to cook and enjoy irresistible vegan comfort food. From Avocado Egg Rolls to her Black Pea Cauliflower Po’Boy or Oyster Mushroom Parm and everything in between, it won’t be long before the world will also be declaring Pinky’s timeless mantra: Eat Plants, B*tch!
In conjunction with the release of the book, Pinky hosted the “Pinky Cole Experience Tour” which literally reinvents what a book tour can be and brings Pinky to meet fans across America. With her comes celebrity moderators, DJs, executive chefs, Slutty Vegan food trucks serving mouthwatering dishes from “Eat Plants, B*tch” and refreshing Stubborn Soda, an exclusive book signing, special surprise guests in each city, and more.
Pinky is also the Executive Producer (Slutty Productions) of her new series “American Sesh” where they will visit multiple cities across America to host their “Think Tank” for special invited guests at iconic locations. 16 lucky people are chosen every Sesh ‘class’ to meet and exchange ideas with the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. Since it’s conception, creatives have been in a chokehold to get a literal seat at the table. Integrated with the touring show is a social media craze that comes from fans uploading their elementary and middle school photos superimposed on the blue couch for a chance to win a seat and become part of the show.
She eventually made her first foray into the culinary world with her popular restaurant, Pinky’s Jamaican and American Restaurant, in New York, which tragically burned down. Pinky relocated to Atlanta and came up with Slutty Vegan during a late-night craving for mouthwatering vegan fast food in Atlanta. From there, she started cooking vegan burgers in a shared kitchen in August 2018, and the Slutty Vegan empire was born. The wildly popular, game-changing concept has not slowed down since opening. Known for its standard two-hour line to pick up made-to-order food, the company’s revenues grew to $4 million within the first six months of its grand opening. Today, customers can break free from kale and quinoa salads and enjoy Slutty Vegan from its “Big ‘Ol Slut” food truck in neighborhoods across Metro Atlanta and at brick-and-mortar locations, in Jonesboro, Duluth & Athens Georgia, Atlanta’s West End and Edgewood neighborhoods, Birmingham, Alabama, and Brooklyn, New York.
Defying the odds is in Pinky’s DNA. The daughter of Jamaican immigrants, Cole learned the value of hard work, serving the community and giving back from her mother, who worked four jobs to support their family and her father. Although he was sentenced to Federal Prison the day she was born, Cole’s father provided business strategy guidance that’s instilled in her today from behind bars. One of his greatest lessons was to create your own opportunity.
Now a mother herself, Pinky does just that, pouring all her love, experience and talent into a recipe for success. While restaurants are closing, Slutty Vegan has opened two locations with socially distanced lines down the block. While record numbers of people are unemployed, Slutty Vegan is providing sustainable employment. Though, Cole’s impact does not stop there. In May 2019, Pinky established The Pinky Cole Foundation. In partnership with another philanthropist, she has paid rent for struggling local businesses, paid the tuition of 30 Clark Atlanta University students, purchased a car and life insurance for the family of Rayshard Brooks who was murdered by a police officer in spring 2020, and gifted LLCs to the Clark Atlanta University graduating class of 2022, encouraging them to go down the same entrepreneurship path that she has flourished along. Pinky also teamed up with Derrick Hayes of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks to spearhead the Square 1: The Liife Experience, a program with an initiative to provide life insurance policies by December 2023 to 25,000 Black men to support their health and generate generational wealth in the black community.
Pinky has been recognized by prestigious organizations all over the U.S., including being named to Restaurant Hospitality’s 2021 Power List, Forbes Next 1000, Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 100 Powerful Women in Business List, LA Wire Influential Women of 2020 and most recently, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 List and PETA’s 2021 Most Beautiful Vegan Celebrities List.
To learn more about Pinky Cole, visit SluttyVeganATL.com, The Pinky Cole Foundation, and follow @pinky907 on Instagram.