Pinky Cole is going back to her roots.
The founder of Slutty Vegan exclusviely shared with ESSENCE that she has struck a deal to bring the brand to Baltimore, the city she’s from.
Per a news release shared with ESSENCE, the move comes by way od the Baltimore Peninsula development team, led by MAG Partners and MacFarlane Partners, with investments from Under Armour founder Kevin Plank and his Sagamore Ventures investment firm, and Goldman Sachs Asset Management Urban Investment Group. Cole has joined Baltimore-native as a development partner in Rye Street Market.
“My story began here in Baltimore, the streets of East Baltimore to be exact,” Cole said in a statement. “This is my homecoming and I could not be more excited to collaborate with Kevin Plank. Kevin is a local entrepreneur whom I admire personally and professionally and by partnering with him on Baltimore Peninsula, I get to show the world how coming from humble beginnings can lead to million-dollar dreams turned into reality. This collaboration, brought to life by the incredible KD McNair from my management team, marks a new chapter in my journey as an entrepreneur. I am looking forward to finally establishing my brands of Slutty Vegan and Bar Vegan in the city that raised me!”
The project aims to bring more than 100 local jobs to the area while encouraging residents to explore healthier food options.
Slutty Vegan’s 100% vegan offerings have taken the country by storm, and plans to open 20 locations in coming years. Cole has also recently released a book detailing her entrepreneurial journey entitled I Hope You Fail. She was also named as 2023 TIME100 Next honoree for her work in spreading awareness of the importance of nutritious food options in underserved areas across the country through her brand. The recent development announcement is just the latest, but perhaps one of the most personal business career milestones she’s achieved.
“Baltimore is my home, and Pinky shares my love for this city,” Plank said in a statement. “For decades I have invested in this City’s future, first by locating Under Armour’s global headquarters here, then with Baltimore Peninsula and now we’re bringing globally recognized influencers and entrepreneurs to help us share our story. Pinky is an incredibly successful restaurateur and philanthropist, and it’s an honor to welcome her back to her hometown. Her innovative concepts have taken over the nation, and I can’t wait to see them thrive right here at the Baltimore Peninsula.”