Pinky Cole: The New American Dream

THE vegan burger queen built a $100 million food empire in five years


By Selena Hill | Cover Photo: Will Sterling

“Ay yo, slutty gang! We got a slut entering the building!” yelled Renea Jackson as I walked into Slutty Vegan in Edgewood, Atlanta, on a quiet rainy night in January.


The boisterous greeting marked the first – and only – time that I’ve been called a “slut” inside of an establishment. But the feeling was different. The energy inside of the famed fast-food vegan restaurant was palpable. Trap music blared from the speakers, and I was immediately captivated by bright graphic signs and phrases plastered on the walls. “Play with me” read one, while a “phone-a-slut” neon sign hung over a makeshift phonebooth. Looking up, I tried to decode what the words “Drink Tuh Fuh Cup” meant on the giant soda cups hanging from the ceiling. Meanwhile, I watched a few seconds of Slutty Vegan employees dancing and playing double Dutch
on a video screen.