ESSENCE January/February cover girl Aisha “Pinky” Cole is continuing to reach new heights.
The ‘Slutty Vegan’ founder and CEO recently announced with Forbes the Culture that she raised $25 million in Series A funding, which pushed her brand’s valuation to $100 million. The round was led by Richelieu Dennis’ New Voices Fund and Danny Meyers’ Enlightened Hospitality Investments.
“I got the Michael Jordan of food on my team,” said Cole in an interview in reference to Meyer. “He has proven that you can scale a business, and it can be unique.”
Aiming to build a billion-dollar brand, the investment can very well push her into 7 figures since the convenience food chain has been around for only four years.
The partnership between Cole and Meyer is a smart one; he is the creator of Michelin-starred restaurants and the popular food chain, Shake Shack.
Cole says she is aiming to launch nearly a dozen more Slutty Vegan restaurants by the end of 2022 and another 10 in the near future.
The wildly popular restaurant is attributed to its mouth-watering offerings that look and taste like traditional foods. “It’s plant-based recipes for the meat eater, because my target audience is not the vegan,” she explained to Essence.
Cole launched Slutty Vegan in a shared kitchen in August 2018. Just a few months later, the wildly popular brand led her to secure a food truck and then just four months later, on January 13, 2019—she opened her first brick-and-mortar store.