Listen to this article now
Slutty Vegan, an Atlanta based vegan burger shop, is defying restaurant odds during these tumultuous times and thriving more than ever. Pinky Cole, founder and CEO of Slutty Vegan ATL, had her concerns, as did many other restaurant owners, at the beginning of the pandemic. Considering Slutty Vegan was a new small business, founded only in 2018, the restaurant presumably had a larger target on its back. However, once Georgia lifted restrictions on restaurants, Cole was not only able to safely adhere to CDC guidelines but went a step further in making it a mission to lift people up as so many were struggling.
Pinky Cole accredits the success of her black, woman-owned small business to exactly that. Just soon after Slutty Vegan opened shop back up, the Black Lives Matter movement was at its peak. As a result, citizens of Atlanta wanted to show up to support small, black businesses more than ever. Cole says she saw more business than ever in those summer months.
It is pertinent that Slutty Vegan’s quality food be accredited to their success, as well. The vegan burgers are renowned for their taste. With names like the One Night Stand and the Super Slut, it is hard to imagine customers wouldn’t be curious to take a bite. In fact, the burgers are so appealing that celebrities hail from all over just to try a Hollywood Hooker; Megan The Stallion, Tiffany Haddish, Usher, Gabrielle Union, and Snopp Dogg to name a few. Even Stacey Abrams who campaigned for Georgia’s Democratic candidates the day of the runoff Senate election just this past week. This would be huge for any restaurant, but it is especially so for a black-owned, vegan burger joint. Slutty Vegan is reinventing how people eat vegan food and people are taking notice.
Due to the national attention, Slutty Vegan has a whopping 417,000 Instagram followers. For reference, they are catching up to larger franchises and fast. In-N-Out Burger has 530,000 followers. Shake Shake has 732,000. Even international franchise Wendy’s only has 1 million Instagram followers. Slutty Vegan has continued to keep up with this following because they have a very interactive social media presence. The company posts content ranging from humorous posts about their food to educational posts about racial injustice.
Known to repost all of their happy customers onto their Stories and respond with fun direct messages, Slutty Vegan is proving themselves as a player in the burger and entrepreneurial world.
On top of everything, Pinky Cole has made sure that she was not the only one benefiting from her success. Graciously, Slutty Vegan has made free resources available to those in need. They have fed voters stuck in long lines in Atlanta on Election Day. The Pinky Cole Foundation’s mission statement on their website explains that they “focus on empowering generations of color to win in life, financially, and in the pursuit of their entrepreneurial dreams”. Cole aims to empower people through her entrepreneurial story. She inspires and urges others, especially black people and women, to believe in themselves and tackle their entrepreneurial goals.
All of this success started with a simple food truck that Cole opened up in 2018. Today, she has grown her business into something groundbreaking. In just the past two years she has opened four locations. In the next year and a half, Slutty Vegan plans on expanding to thirteen locations total.
Have you ever been to Slutty Vegan? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.