Slutty Vegan’s Pinky Cole on the cover of Essence magazine

Pink Cole of Slutty Vegan and Derrick Hayes of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks pose for the latest edition of Essence magazine.

ATLANTA – Two Atlanta restaurateurs grace the cover of the latest issue of Essence Magazine.

Pinky Cole owns a popular Atlanta vegan restaurant, Slutty Vegan. The chain now has three locations and a plant-based bar at Ponce City Market, Bar Vegan. She shares the cover with her partner Derrick Hayes of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks. The West Philadelphia native opened the cheesesteak business in 2014, which has since expanded into a bustling downtown Atlanta location and a pending location in Doraville.

In an Instagram post, the magazine said Cole and Hayes were the first restaurateurs to grace the cover of Essence. It’s part of a new special edition, highlighting black couples who are “betting on love and business”.

Last year, Cole was named to the National Industry Power List for her work in the city of Atlanta, making an impact now and preparing for future growth. After opening two new Slutty Vegan locations in 2020, she’s helped struggling businesses pay rent during the pandemic and provided financial support to Rayshard Brooks’ family as part of her foundation’s efforts.

Slutty Vegan has even gained notoriety with celebrities. Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis told Essence she loves the restaurant’s plant-based burgers and became one of Cole’s biggest fans after booking the food truck while filming.

“It’s amazing how people come alive when you take care of them, when you literally think about their health, their joy, their comfort. And maybe the secret sauce of his company, other than food absolutely brilliant is that she cares about her people,” Davis told Essence.

Hayes’s Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks has had its own famous fans, like Lena Waithe, Migos and Meek Mill.

While Cole and Hayes both have their own catering businesses, they also started a joint concept called Dinkies. Vegan business Philly Cheesesteak is a play on both their first names, Derrick and Pinky, and it’s located inside Bar Vegan.

In the magazine’s article written by Essence’s Jennifer Ogunsola, the couple discuss their life as parents, their quests and paths to success, and their decision to keep their relationship private, among other topics.

“Meet the millionaires next door who are making power moves to move the community forward,” the post read.