The Success of Pinky Cole’s Vegan Restaurant
By: Stephanie Pillado
Pinky Cole rocked Atlanta’s West End when she opened Slutty Vegan, a plant-based burger joint. “The Plant-Based Princess” came up with the idea of opening the restaurant one day when she was in her kitchen. Cole was craving junk food, but being that she is vegan her options were very limited. That’s when she thought about how cool it would be to reimagine plant-based food as a pleasure without the guilt.
In an interview with Forbes, Cole said, “The first mission of Slutty Vegan has been to change the narrative on vegan foods, especially in under-informed communities.” The African-American community has suffered an epidemic of high cholesterol, hypertension and obesity and it has become Cole’s mission to introduce veganism to the community in a fun and unique way.
Slutty Vegan’s 100% plant-based menu includes some fun, naughty options like the “One Night Stand” a Beyond Meat patty with vegan bacon, vegan cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato and slutty sauce on a vegan Hawaiian bun. The “"Ménage à Trois” is similar, but with added vegan shrimp.
What brought Cole to combine sex, veganism and the black community together? Through researching ways to draw in customers, Cole was inspired through looking for sexy ways to draw them in. "What I did was I connected a provocative way of putting food and sex together, but it's positive manipulation because I knew that it wouldn't have anything to do with sex," Cole said in an interview with CNN, "It was really about food and how to connect people to eating healthier."
Instagram has been a driving force in helping her business grow beyond Altanta’s West End. Celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Usher and Tiffany Haddish have all been featured on the Slutty Vegan Instagram account. Cole is proud to say that much of her restaurant’s success has been through word of mouth that has transferred over to Instagram.
What’s next for Pinky Cole and Slutty Vegan? She plans to continue to expand the restaurant. (The locations have yet to be named.) Cole also has a book coming out and a truck tour in the works.
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