Chef Aisha “Pinky” Cole, 33, is the creator of the popular Atlanta based “Slutty Vegan” restaurant chain. She says her mission is not to convert people to veganism. It is to present an edible message that may inspire them to make healthy diet choices while increasing awareness of such issues as “food insecurity” and “health concerns in the Black community.” Her Slutty Burger pop-ups are so successful there are lines around the block.
Chef Cole was recently named to the Forbes Next 1000 list honoring impactful entrepreneurs. Her brand is definitely not White Castle. She is bent on making veganism “fun and approachable, showing diverse customers that there’s no single vegan aesthetic.” The ambient music in her restaurants is Hip Hop.
Cole, who grew up in a Jamaican-American household eating Rastafarian Ital cuisine, likes to say that she was “marinated in the womb of a vegetarian.” She’s planning a dozen more restaurants in primarily Black communities that, the Forbes article says are considered “food deserts, where fast food abounds, and healthy options are hard to find.”
The impact of COVID-19 is increasing awareness of the immune system and its needs, and how wellness and mindfulness, can be weapons to combat health disparities. Pinky believes that as long as people like her vegiburgers, curiosity about the importance of a healthy diet will follow and impact the community.
For a list of Black-owned Brooklyn-based vegan restaurants,
(Bernice Elizabeth Green)