Introducing The Cover Stars of ESSENCE Magazine's January/February Issue, Pinky Cole And Derrick Hayes
In August 2018, Cole—who goes by Pinky, a nickname given to her at birth by her godmother because she came out so pink—opened Slutty Vegan in a shared kitchen. Several weeks later, as the brand’s popularity grew, she launched her food truck. Four months later, on January 13, 2019 she opened her first brick-and-mortar store. By 2020, amid a global pandemic, she cut the ribbon on her second and third locations in Atlanta. As the world seemed to be falling apart, the Slutty Vegan brand was experiencing powerful growth, drawing daily celebrity sightings and massive crowds of people from all over the world.
“We are able to use this one thing over everything, and that’s love—not just ourselves but the community.”
Her partner’s name is Derrick Hayes—but if you’re around him long enough, you’ll hear Cole and those closest to him affectionately call him D. An entrepreneur and philanthropist born and raised in West Philadelphia, and now the father of three girls, Hayes smiles with approval as his woman firmly shuts down the potential haters. “Yeah,” he says, looking at her with admiration. “She said it. We don’t judge each other.”