The name Pinky Cole, rings bells not just in the city of Atlanta, but word has spread internationally that her successful restaurant, “Slutty Vegan,” is the go-to for delicious vegan junk food. Known for its plant-based-burgers, this spot is getting the attention of vegans and meat-eaters alike, because apparently it is just that good! After doing some research on what steps Ms. Cole took to reach this present state of success, I have found her journey to not only be inspirational, but worthy of serving as the perfect template and blue-print for others to follow to reach success in their businesses as well. I truly believe that the steps below can be applied to just about any business with positive results. Let me know if you agree. Read on to learn how!
Because of who she knew, Pinky Cole was able to position her product in front of a large following of people. Dymetra Pernell, who also goes by “The Plant-Based-Princess,” previously shared a kitchen with Cole where she whipped up her well-know vegan ice-cream. She offered to mention Cole’s then “concept” vegan burgers to her 25,000 plus followers on Instagram, and the response was overwhelming and instantly positive. Although Pinky knew her burgers were good and could likely speak for themselves once people tasted them, she needed just a little help from someone who already had the type and scale of platform needed to get the attention of the masses. If people don’t know you exist, they can’t patronize your business. What you know is half the battle, who you know can open doors just a little quicker. So, remember in business and in life, your connections always matter, make sure they are solid.
2. She utilized Social Media as a bridge
Now that the word is officially out and people know what’s up, Cole quickly learned that Instagram was her best friend, and even still creates her own content to this day. She is aware she won’t always be able to do that once her business grows to an even larger scale but likes it that way for now. Once she gained a presence on Instagram, which didn’t take long, her following grew tremendously. Only a week after the mention on her friend’s page, she served 100 people “and realized the impact social media could have on her business.” Shortly after that, she started her notorious food truck pop-ups, where people were willing to wait in line for several hours just to get a taste of her famous vegan burgers, and the rest is beautiful history.
Being the thoughtful driven entrepreneur she is, Pinky decided on an alternate route of advertising. Most food places showcase and parade pictures of their food, but Pinky had her reasons why she didn’t want to do that with her Slutty Vegan burgers. “My food doesn’t look good. It’s sloppy. A burger is not sexy.” cSo instead, she had real customers including celebrities, send in videos of them eating the burger and that got people’s attention.
Many celebrities have documented their visits to the now famous “Slutty Vegan” restaurant in Atlanta and even posted to their Instagram pages. They include, Snoop Dog, Tiffany Haddish, Taraji P. Henson and many more. Once you have celebrity approval and endorsements for your business, you pretty much now have a seat at the table and are well on your way to success. Reputation is everything! Currently, her personal IG page is at 38.7 thousand followers while the restaurant page has reached 307,000.
3. Her product answers a need
The idea for Slutty Vegan was initially born the night Cole as a college student in her dorm room, got hungry specifically for “vegan junk food” and realized there were no restaurants around her offering that. Being that it was late at night and it was junk food she wanted, the name “Slutty Vegan” came to her instantly and she got to work immediately on making it a reality. She knew that if she was looking for this, others were as well, and so she created it. You always win when you tap into a need that hasn’t really been tapped into yet. As long as there is a demand for something that you can supply, you will always have business and clientele.
4. Her business has a catchy name
The name “Slutty Vegan” most certainly turns heads and makes people repeat it to make sure they heard it right. Once you have someone talking about your business name, you have created some buzz. The goal is to get people talking, period. Once people are talking, they then are curious to try your product and so are the friends with whom they were talking to about it. Not only is the name catchy, but there is a back story to it and a specific reason for the name that means something to the creator. Make sure that whatever you name your business, you have your own method to the madness, and that it not only makes sense and aligns with your product, but also, that it truly means something to you. It’s similar to a parent naming their
5. She Gives Back
One of the best things about Pinky Cole other than her popular, crowd-pleasing-burgers, is her heart to give back. In fact, she is so passionate about giving, she created the Pinky Cole Foundation at pinkygivesback.com which is built around just that. She wants other young and aspiring entrepreneurs to be successful and she has programs for the youth designed just for that purpose. She made the news a few times, one of them being for paying off the debt of the graduating class at Clark Atlanta University, her Alma Mater. And just recently during the Covid-19 pandemic, she donated free burgers to senior citizens as well as frontline medical staff who have been working hours on end in the fight against this deadly virus. She made headlines for that act of kindness as well. Pinky Cole is smart just to say the least.
Having a heart just so happens to look really good in business and draws people as well. When you do good deeds in business, you just might make the news. Not only do you garner more attention, but you also make a positive and likely lasting impression on prospective customers and veterans alike. You want to accumulate new business, but you also want to keep the clientele you’ve already attained, most definitely.
6. She Never Stops Grinding
Although Ms. Cole has it going on right now, she definitely had to overcome some hard times to get to where she is currently. The “Slutty Vegan” was not her first business as she had in fact been hustling since even before high school. She was born to a single-parent-household, being that her father went to prison the very day she was born and served a twenty-year-sentence. With such a dramatic start, she not only had a reason all her life to hustle, it just so happened to run in her blood. Hustling and hard work were also a strong part of her Jamaican heritage and culture. She wanted better for herself and her parents, and has been focused on that goal non-stop ever since.
While in high school, she would sell $1 McChicken sandwiches for $2 to students and sold out every day. But when she was only in middle school, she made about $4,000 a week promoting parties