Slutty Vegan’s Pinky Cole Graces Cover of Essence And Talks Love Life, Motherhood, And Community

Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and now, new mother Pinky Cole, along with boyfriend Derrick Hayes, owner of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks, grace the cover of the January/February issue of Essence magazine. In the interview, which was conducted at the couple’s palatial suburban Atlanta home, they give a glimpse into their personal lives, as well as discuss their upcoming business ventures, and what they’re doing to continue to give back to the community that was instrumental in their phenomenal successes.

Aisha “Pinky” Cole, founder of superstar restaurant Slutty Vegan, discussed juggling new motherhood, along with building an empire.

“In order for me to be a good mommy and entrepreneur, I have to check myself to make sure I’m doing good.” She went on to say, “Being a good entrepreneur and a parent really gives me the motivation to keep being dedicated to what the end goal is.”

Cole also talks about finding love with fellow (non-vegan) restaurateur and business partner, Derrick Hayes, with whom she also shares her daughter, D Ella.

“I think that our relationship is symbolic of what the world should look and feel like,” says Cole. “It should look and feel like a place where there is no judgment. Just because you might not believe in the things that I believe in, doesn’t mean that we can’t come together in friendship, love and spirituality.”

Cole goes on to speak on how she and Hayes possess a similar philanthropic spirit, with the hearts to help others in need.

“We started a life insurance campaign, where we provide Black men in Atlanta who make $30,000 or less with life insurance that they don’t have to pay for,” explains Cole, who adds that Prudential recently signed on to the venture as a partner. “And to give back in the name of Rayshard Brooks, {a 27 year-old Black man who was shot and killed in a Wendy’s parking lot by an Atlanta police officer back in 2020}, we partnered with Clark Atlanta to provide $600,000 worth of scholarships for kids, and a brand-new car and life insurance for his family. We bought this house in August of 2021, but before this, in December of 2020, we bought another house as an investment property. And we’re about to buy some more.”

In addition to love, family, and community, Cole also revealed details on some new business ventures. She’s currently working on sealing the deal on packaging Slutty Vegan’s “chicken” dip, spinach dip, and vegan bacon (that tastes identical to the real thing, minus the swine). Cole will also be releasing her first cookbook, Eat Plants, Bitch, this summer. She describes the book as “plant-based recipes for the meat eater.”

She’s also going back to her entertainment roots by producing a documentary about the rise of Slutty Vegan during the pandemic, titled Sluttify.

It looks like there’s no stopping the overnight success that is Ms. Pinky Cole.

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Written by LaToya Anitri


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