Pinky Cole on Growing a Slutty Vegan Empire | Dallas Observer

Pinky Cole on Growing the Slutty Vegan Empire

Slutty Vegan grand opening in Deep Ellum is met with long lines and big vibes.
Pinky Cole was at the grand opening of her Slutty Vegan restaurant in Dallas last week.
Pinky Cole was at the grand opening of her Slutty Vegan restaurant in Dallas last week. Nicolle Lane
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Slutty Vegan's grand opening last week brought great vibes and vegan fast food to Deep Ellum. The Atlanta-based restaurant has 10 other locations in Atlanta, Alabama and New York and a cult-like following for its inventive recipes. The star of the day for the grand opening was founder and CEO Aisha "Pinky" Cole, all decked out in Slutty Vegan gear.

Baltimore native Pinky Cole was born in 1985 to immigrant parents from Jamaica and has built her restaurant empire from the ground up. At just 26 she opened her first Jamaican American restaurant in Harlem. She was making $35,000 a month until a grease fire caused a catastrophic fire. Even though Cole had insurance on the restaurant, she didn't have fire insurance. She lost everything.

She bounced back and went on to launch Slutty Vegan. (She has also become a big supporter of fire departments.)

The line was down the block an hour before the opening, and some anxious guests had even brought chairs. Cole answered questions from the small group of media representatives who were there.
click to enlarge slutty vegan deep ellum
Slutty Vegan is now open in Deep Ellum.
Nicolle Lane
“Dallas felt like a foreign Mecca; there’s not a whole lot of vegan restaurants here,” Cole said. “So, I wanted to make sure we come and bring our presence to this city, and we made a really good decision because Dallas has supported us.”

From the music of the DJ to the exhilarating nonstop chanting of the workers, the excitement and energy of the grand opening could be felt as we approached the building. As the Black owner of a vegan restaurant, Cole takes pride in her culture and her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

"Being a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. really taught me how to be dynamic, how to be a leader, how to pay attention to the little things, how to be professional and button up. So I’m excited that I’ve been able to be a part of an amazing organization with other women who are doing just as dynamic things as I'm doing," says Cole.

When asked where she sees the brand in 10 years and what she wants her legacy to look like, Cole said, "I want people to know impossible is possible. When they think about Pinky Cole, the Slutty Vegan empire, they know that the goal of the exercise is to disrupt every single glass ceiling and not settle for the status quo."

A true businesswoman. Cole is unstoppable.

“I believe in myself, I manifested things that I want and I'm confident in my belief of the things I want to do, so when I put my mind to something I don't stop until I get it," says Cole.

Cole told the Observer she plans to open a Jamaican vegan restaurant in Dallas. We'll keep you posted.

Slutty Vegan, 2707 Main St. Tuesday – Thursday, noon – 9 p.m.; Friday – Saturday , noon – 11 p.m; closed Sunday and Monday.
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