In just five years since starting Slutty Vegan, Pinky Cole is now in the process of opening her 13th location. This week, the restaurant owner revealed the first HBCU location of her popular vegan restaurant: Spelman College.
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Cole delivered the news via Instagram on Aug. 7. She shared that she was on Spelman’s campus to help her eldest daughter move in. Then, she shared that Slutty Vegan is also moving to campus!
Pinky didn’t reveal the opening date of the eatery but gave a sneak peek at the layout. The space is designed with yellow-and-black branded walls and service counter spaces. There are several four-seater tables as well. The location appears inside a central dining space, though no additional eateries are seen in her clip.
“You know, we just had our five-year anniversary. So right now, I’m on Spelman College’s campus, and it’s move-in day. And guess who else is moving in,” Pinky Cole Hayes said in an Instagram Reel.
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Slutty Vegan: From Instagram Sales From An Apartment To A Restaurant Empire Valued At $100M
Not only is 13 stores in five years impressive but so is the story behind Slutty Vegan’s rise to the top. Pinky Cole, who added Hayes to her name this past year, first started by selling burgers from her two-bedroom apartment. The year was 2018, and she had just relocated back to ATL. She advertised and collected orders via Instagram.
In 2022, she spoke to The Shade Room about how the idea came to her.
“I founded Slutty Vegan in 2018 because I was craving some vegan comfort food on a late night. I was just sitting in my bedroom, and it came to me. There isn’t any crazy backstory to the idea. I started out with a ghost kitchen and figured out that I was solving a problem that other people had, too,” Pinky Cole said. “Slutty Vegan is a fun way to reimagine food, and I was helping people that were craving vegan comfort food. That was the first Slutty Vegan, doing it my way, with my blueprint, and not caring about what anybody had to say.”
Two years before, her first restaurant, Pinky’s Jamaican and American, burned down in Harlem, New York. With no insurance and depleted life savings, Pinky lost her car and apartment.
By August 2018, she was in a commercial kitchen, offering orders through apps like Uber Eats. Then, she bought a food truck. After an endorsement from Snoop Dogg in January 2019, Pinky was raking in about $20,000 a night in cash, per Pinky’s brother Jaware.
Since 2022, Pinky Cole has earned spots on the ‘Forbes Next 100’ list and the ‘Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women.’ Investments also shot Slutty Vegan’s valuation to $100 million.
As for Slutty Vegan’s newest location, it’s also likely by design. Beyond making those coins, Pinky assured TSR in 2022 that she’s intentional about having her food in predominately Black neighborhoods.
“There are a lot of strong Black cultural connections in Atlanta, and it was really important to me to give back to the city’s Black community through Slutty Vegan and the Pinky Cole Foundation. There’s such a strong sense of community at Slutty Vegan. We place all of our locations in food deserts and areas where we know we can make the community better,” she said.
In June this year, the restaurant-business superstar leveled up in her personal life. She tied the knot with Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks owner Derrick Hayes in a stunning pink-and-white ceremony.