“[Slutty Vegan] is really like moving education…your food don’t have to be born.”
Slutty Vegan’s success, due in no small part to the clever name and branding, is growing in leaps and bounds by the hour it seems. With menu options like One Night Stand – a plant-based patty with vegan bacon and vegan American cheese, Sloppy Toppy – minus the bacon, add jalapenos, and Menage a Trois – vegan shrimp, patty, and bacon, a host of vegan and many non-vegan patrons are falling for the plant-based junk food that has all the moves to leave them feeling satisfied. To many, Slutty Vegan appeared out of nowhere and took the vegan scene by storm. But as owner Pinky Cole will tell you, it took years to brew.
“I owned a Jamaican restaurant that had vegan options. I knew nothing about owning a restaurant. I was googling and going to YouTube University to find out information. I gave up a lot for it. In 2014, there was a grease fire, and I lost everything.”
Pinky, who came from a broadcasting background, moved to California and got back into T.V. To work off the hurt she’d experienced from the loss she’d taken she began working out, eating healthier and eventually became vegan. “It was like I was on a recharge. I started running every day, ready my a lot and really getting focused and in alignment with who I really am. That was what equipped me with the emotional and spiritual tools to be sitting in the house one and be like, I want some vegan junk food. I think the idea was brewing for so long, but it required me to workout, it required me to read every day, it required me to remove and eliminate certain things in my life that were holding me back.
Just two years after leaving, Pinky moved back to Atlanta, began to cook in a shared Kitchen, and Slutty Vegan was born. In August of 2018, by the second week, she was cooking there was a line out the door. By September she had a food truck, and October she began working on building her restaurant. “It seems like an overnight success but this is something I’ve been working toward for a long time.” You can find the Slutty Vegan food truck by visiting Slutty Vegan on Instagram where she posts her location and the menu for the evening.
I asked Pinky, as I ask everyone I interview, what is the most empowering thing about starting Slutty Vegan. She had two things to say, “To see so many people coming together in the name of food, that’s not a dead animal like we’re making history right now. I told my team like, if Slutty Vegan were to stop right now, you have to understand you’re apart of history. I’m in awe. We are changing conversations and family dynamics. We are introducing people, black people, to the [vegan] lifestyle.”
She added, with high regard, “The most empowering thing to me is that I have a thriving successful black business and a thriving business that happens to be a successful black business. Those are two different things. To have a business that’s thriving because we have a good quality product, we are erasing that stigma that black businesses don’t succeed or do well. Identifying as a black-owned business doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We’re getting the support of our people and the support of other people even identifying as a black-owned business. My intention is to make sure that Slutty Vegan is a worldwide black-owned business, but also a worldwide business that happens to be black.”
Slutty Vegan is definitely on track to achieve their goals. They’ve been invited to sell their deliciously devilish burgers during this years super bowl, an honor she doesn’t take lightly. The brick and mortar Slutty Vegan restaurant will be open January 13th on Ralph David Abernathy with added Slutty tricks and treats on the menu, and there are talks of getting celebrities to stand in line and give signings. She’s also considering licensing or franchising Slutty Vegan, so if you want to own a piece of history your chance is coming.
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Featured image provided by Slutty Vegan