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Pinky Cole aka “Slutty Vegan” is a Class Act Her Celeb Backed Restaurant Chain Has a BIG Mission

The Debbie Nigro Show

Release Date: 03/20/2024

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Pinky Cole aka Slutty Vegan is WOW. There are a thousand reasons why. She’s a very innovative gal, entrepreneur, and really good human.


Pinky Cole owns and operates the celebrity backed restaurant chain ‘Slutty Vegan’ with 11 locations and counting including Atlanta, Birmingham, Baltimore, Dallas, and NY. She’s opening a new location in NYC this weekend on Bleecker Street making that 3 spots now in NY with the others in Harlem and Brooklyn.  


 “When you walk into Slutty Vegan, you will see yourself “, said Pinky. “It doesn't matter if you are white, black, blue, yellow, gay, straight, you belong here, and this is a safe space for you and I want my business to continue to speak for that. So Bleeker will speak to all those things and I'm excited about it and I'm excited about our expansion. “


“You know, and this is my first time announcing this, Bleeker Street is an ode to the LGBTQ community and the movement, right, and LGBTQ rights. So, a lot of the decor and the aesthetics will speak to that. And I'm very intentional on my approach and how I decorate my stores because I want everybody to see themselves, right?”


Last year Time Magazine named Pink Cole to their ‘100 Next List”


Pinky Cole has also won the ‘Compassionate Chef Award’, has her own foundation to empower generations of color to break the cycle of poverty, and a new book “I Hope You Fail” to show by example how failures and setbacks are steppingstones in disguise.


Famed restauranteur Danny Meyer, wrote that her fans adore her sassy, sexy attitude and that she not only reinvented the way people think about a vegan restaurant, but she’s also turned classic roadside burger fair into a rollicking party.


It’s worth mentioning that according to the latest statistics only like 5% of Americans identify as vegan or vegetarian, but most people want to eat healthier these days and so many who don't call themselves vegans or vegetarians are drawn to the food Pinky makes and creates because Pinky makes it fun.


Pinky Cole’s Mission is Powerful


Pinky Cole does everything with intention. She wanted to create food that was accessible to people who are in underserved communities and residents of food deserts that was healthy and comforting and fun, and boy did she nail it.


Aisha Pinky Cole, American restaurateur, operator, and owner of Slutty Vegan, was born and raised in Baltimore. Her parents were Jamaican immigrants and Rastafarians, and her mother was a musician in a reggae group, I probably would have partied with. I love reggae music.


Pinky grew up following a traditional Rastafarian vegetarian diet, eating rice and peas and legumes and beans which is how it all began.




After reading all about her I thought I love this girl. But am I really gonna promote a slutty vegan on my show? LOL. Well, everybody else did so sure!


Nobody knows better than me that in order to get attention in this world, the words you choose matter. But Pinky knew that.


“That name helped me to build a $100 million brand. All righty, all righty, all righty. OK, so I'll start there. Was it easy? Yes and no. The yes part of it being easy was the fact that I'm trained as a television producer, so I know what's going to make people pay attention. I know what's going to make them say, oh, damn, I've got to pay attention to this, right? But then on the flip side, there are a lot of people, conservative people who live in our country, right, who haven't adapted to the idea that you can re-engineer words, right? You can put your own meaning to words. And that's exactly what I did. When I came up with slutty vegan, I knew that I had to be in your face, racy and raunchy in order for you to think about vegan food, because if I would have named it Pinky's Vegan, you wouldn't come to get it. You wouldn't want to eat it. “


The Pinky Cole Foundation is like Urgent Care


Pinky started a foundation to formalize a way to give her money to people who need help because she just loves helping people.


“I found that there’s a generational wealth gap, a big one”, she said. “And I wanted to help bridge that generational wealth gap by providing opportunities for entrepreneurs and creatives. “


“So my foundation is not like the average foundation. You know how some foundations have all these thrusts and all of these programmatic things? This ain't that.”


“What this is, we are like urgent care. If there is an immediate need, we solve an immediate problem. So we paid the rents for local businesses. We provided fruits and vegetables for people in the community. I've given out 800 LLCs to a graduating class of seniors so that they could be able to jumpstart their pathway to entrepreneurship. We've partnered with the Department of Juvenile Justice to provide second chance opportunities to ex-offenders. We've paid for lights. We provide life insurance in partnership with Prudential to black men who make $30,000 or less in Atlanta.”


“So, when you talk about doing the work, I've been doing the work for a long time, and yes, business is good. Like burgers, pies, and fries, and helping people to reimagine food is the name of the game. But what we do with the resources and that platform is help people and build a sense of community and collaboration and showing people that we can be a resource to you to be able to follow all your wildest dreams. I believe that that truly is my life's mission.”


Pretty Amazing Stuff eh? I told you she was a WOW!



Then There’s Her Book: “I Hope You Fail”


Pinky shows by example I her book how failures and setbacks are stepping stones in disguise.


“You know, it's funny, she said. “I did a commencement speech at my alma mater. I was the youngest commencement speaker. The theme was, I hope you fail, and that was the inspiration for the book. I talked about how when I was in college, I was everything. I had every title. I was the head of the sorority. I was all tof he things. I was the queen of the school. Then when I graduated, I couldn't find a job. Nobody would hire me.


As I maneuvered through life, I realized that life is going to life. Things are going to happen whether we'd like to believe it or not but it's about how you re-engineer when bad things happen. For me losing my restaurant in Harlem and having a grease fire and my car getting repoed and me losing my apartment, to my wages getting garnished, to getting sued and slutty vegan, a lot of things have happened to me but all of those things that happened did one thing and you know, just the education of it all allowed me to be better when it happened all over again.”


So this book is for the person who's trying to figure it out that has had things happen to them and don't know how to get out of that crunch.

Like, we've all been at the bottom at some point. But if you re-engineer your mind to think optimistically about when bad things happen, you will be alright. And that's exactly what this book does.


You're talking to the choir here. Amen.



“And I just want to say this, I don't know if you know this, I had a baby in 21, I had another baby in 22 and I had another baby in 23. So not only am I building an empire, I'm a mompreneur. So for all of the women that are listening to this program, I want to encourage you that like nothing is impossible and don't let anything stop you. You can literally achieve your dreams. I'm doing it in real time. Is it hard? Absolutely, but I make it work and I make it great, and I get to do what I love and be a mom which is what I love as well and do it with a smile. Sometimes a headache but I can do it with a smile.”



You’ll really enjoy meeting Pinky Cole aka Slutty Vegan in this podcast of our live conversation on the Debbie Nigro Show.