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Pinky Cole Slutty Vegan TIME100 Next

Source: Mike Coppola / Getty

Maury Povich’s long-running talk show, known for its on-air confrontations, was a significant factor in the marketing strategy for Pinky Cole’s food chain, Slutty Vegan. 

The food industry entrepreneur opened up about the fun fact while speaking with Page Six at the Time100 Next event Oct. 24, where she was honored in the Phenom category. The expectant mother said being a producer for Maury from 2013 to 2015 helped her learn important strategies for making Slutty Vegan a success. 

“What I realized is you have to punch some people in the faces with the information to make them pay attention,” she stated. When discussing the vegan eatery’s compelling and provocative branding, she said, “I combined sex and food, which are the two most pleasurable experiences and got people excited about veganism in a world where once upon a time it was not cool.”

“If I [can] get you psychologically locked in, I can educate you in whatever it is I want to educate you on,” the Phenom asserted. “And that is exactly what I did with Slutty Vegan.”

Cole reportedly left her role as a producer on Maury to focus on her first venture in the food industry, Pinky’s Jamaican and American Restaurant, which she opened in 2014 in Harlem. 

The eatery went up in flames in 2016, and Cole bounced back with Slutty Vegan in 2018. 

The vegan burger, hot dog and French fry joint started in Atlanta and became a favorite spot for some of the city’s celebrities. Then, it expanded with brick-and-mortar locations in Harlem, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Birmingham, Dallas and more. In May 2023, Forbes reported that the restaurant chain was worth a whopping $100 million.

This year’s TIME100 Next event was the publication’s third annual showcase.

According to a late-October press release, the event celebrated “TIME’s list of 100 rising stars who are defining the next generation of leadership in business, entertainment, sports, politics and more.”

The special evening went down at SECOND in New York City. Others on this year’s list besides Cole included Tyler James Williams, Jalen Hurts, Kali Uchis,  Tems and several others.

“At TIME, we celebrate and recognize the most influential people around the world who are making an impact,” said the publication’s CEO, Jessica Sibley, during her remarks. “Tonight, we are recognizing the Next generation of innovators and leaders who are making the extraordinary possible and pulling off the remarkable feat of reaching the top of their fields, with the potential to still do so much more.”

RELATED CONTENT: “‘It’s A Fairytale’: Slutty Vegan Founder Pinky Cole Marries Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks CEO Derrick Hayes In Cinderella Ceremony”

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