Atlanta-based restaurateur Pinky Cole, founder of Slutty Vegan, has joined a highly exclusive list of successful individuals with outsized influence on modern culture. TIME has featured the Georgia restaurant pioneer in its 2023 TIME 100 Next list.
Curated by TIME Magazine, the list highlights 100 emerging leaders who are influencing business, entertainment, sports, politics, health, science and activism across the world.
“Pinky Cole is irrepressible,” wrote Gramercy Tavern founder Danny Meyer for the magazine. “Nothing will stop her from showing the world that vegan food can be fun. And that fun can be good for the planet.
“Her myriad fans adore her sassy, sexy attitude that has not only reinvented the way people think about a vegan restaurant, but also turned classic roadside burger fare into a rollicking party—one few want to miss, evidenced by unbelievable lines of customers stretching for blocks and blocks, and forming hours before Slutty Vegan debuts in any of the lucky cities where it’s open for business.”
The TIME 100 Next list is quite different from the magazine’s longstanding TIME 100 list. Rather than focusing on those that have achieved “peak influence” in their fields, the TIME 100 Next list is dedicated to bringing attention to future leaders.
This is hardly Cole’s first brush with fame, of course. The entrepreneur and community activist has already been recognized on Restaurant Hospitality’s 2021 Power List, Forbes Next 1000, Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 100 Powerful Women in Business List, LA Wire Influential Women of 2020, PETA’s 2021 Most Beautiful Vegan Celebrities List and Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 List.
Most recently, Cole made headlines when she celebrated her wedding day with husband Derrick Hayes, CEO of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks, at Atlanta’s St. Regis hotel in June.
“It’s a fairytale, a Cinderella wedding,” Cole told People. “Just the other day, my mother saw me in my dress for the first time, and I never thought I would see myself in a wedding dress. It’s a dream come true because I’m doing something that no one in my family has ever done. To be the first to have a wedding is a big deal. I’m breaking generational patterns and creating a new one.”
Looking forward, Cole is currently preparing for the release of her second book “I Hope You Fail,” which is set to release Oct. 10.