Aisha “Pinky” Cole is a Jamaican-American entrepreneur and restaurateur. She currently owns Slutty Vegan, a hugely popular plant-based burger chain in Atlanta, Georgia. Since its conception in 2018, the restaurant often has queues of eager customers waiting for the doors to open.
After college, Cole worked in film and television both in front and behind the camera. Before Slutty Vegan was born and between television jobs, Cole ran a Jamaican-American restaurant in New York called Pinky’s, until a fire caused it to close in 2016. But that couldn’t keep her out of the kitchen and two years later plans were being made to launch Slutty Vegan.
The name Slutty Vegan came about because Cole wanted to catch people’s attention with something playful and a little controversial. Her burgers have names such as “One Night Stand” and “Ménage à Trois”.1Soloman, M. 2019. The Slutty Vegan: Young, African American Founder Pinky Cole’s Wild Success With Playful Vegan Food. Forbes. Available: https://www.forbes.com/sites/micahsolomon/2019/07/12/the-slutty-vegan-founder-pinky-cole-on-her-wild-success-bringing-playful-vegan-food-to-the-fore/?sh=1c9f9c0f14d8 [Accessed 22 September 2021].
Cole was raised a vegetarian as her mother is Rastafarian, and went vegan in 2015.2Shigley, D. 2019. How Pinky Cole used Instagram to make Slutty Vegan’s burgers a viral hit IRL. Atlanta Magazine. Available: https://www.atlantamagazine.com/dining-news/how-pinky-cole-used-instagram-to-make-slutty-vegans-burgers-a-viral-hit-irl/ [Accessed 22 September 2021]. She had an urge to create healthier junk food and began using Impossible Burgers to create her own burger combinations. Despite a disappointing opening day, Cole soon realised the power of social media, particularly Instagram, to market her business and Slutty Vegan exploded (in a good way this time).
Slutty Vegan’s success has allowed Cole to start The Pinky Cole Foundation which gives back to the community, promotes inclusivity and positive change.
“I just try to figure out ways to just be a better version of myself. So when I did it [went vegan], I went cold turkey. It was not a hard transition… that was actually the best decision that I made in my life. Because it allowed me to be at my most optimal health. Like I have the most clarity that I’ve ever had in my life. My level of frequency is just on a thousand. My vibration is always high and I see the difference.”3Daiya. 2021. A Full Interview With Vegan Restaurant Owner Pinky Cole. Available: https://daiyafoods.com/blog/a-full-interview-with-vegan-restaurant-owner-pinky-cole/ [Accessed 22 September 2021].