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Meet the Owner of Slutty Vegan, Atlanta’s Hottest Vegan Spot

What do you get when you mix the growing popularity of vegan food with brilliant marketing and a great product? A line of people, several blocks deep, outside your business on opening day. This is the “problem” that Atlanta’s newest vegan eatery, Slutty Vegan had when it opened on January 14th.

We reached out to owner Pinky Cole to find out more about her and her business.

Slutty Vegan
Slutty Vegan owner, Pinky Cole (credit: Ty Pleas)

What inspired you to start Slutty Vegan?

Slutty vegan was created summer of 2018 in my small two-bedroom apartment. I was lying in bed late in the evening and had a serious hankering for vegan junk food.

At the time, there was no place here in Atlanta at had what I needed. I figured it was time to satisfy that need. Boom! Slutty Vegan came to life.

Photo credit: Ty Pleas

What has been the most challenging and the most gratifying thing about owning a business thus far?

Since its creation, like all businesses, Slutty Vegan has run into its fair share of challenges. Most challenging, surprisingly, has been keeping up with the demand from the city.

Pinky and Uncle Snoop

Because of our sensational growth, we have had to learn how to grow at an exponential rate while making sure we have excellent customer service and every customer is satisfied.

Crazy lines on opening day (Credit:Westview Atlanta)

However great this difficulty, we appreciate and love the community support. Interestingly enough, that challenge has been one of the most gratifying aspects. Imagine me, a young single mom from Baltimore jump-starting the vegan movement here in Atlanta!

Tha crazy growth has been nothing short of inspiring and the pleasure I get knowing the culture and health shift I’m at the forefront of is so humbling. I am so thankful for the opportunity and pressure.

The Slutty Vegan crew

In the past 5 years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

Having faith and striving to attain goals that previously, I would have been afraid would have failed. In the past 5 years, my prayer life has shifted my outlook, perspective, and approach to life. Prayer has removed said fear and I can step out of faith regardless of imminent outcome. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t shoot.”

What is one thing about you that may surprise most people?

I think it surprises people that I’m truly an HBCU ride or die regular or maybe not so regular girl.

I attended Clark Atlanta University where I pledged, pageanted, and excelled. Atlanta has truly adopted me, and most would even think I’m from here; sometimes it even feels like that.

#TBT Miss Clark Atlanta University

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

If I had to give any advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, it would be to write every idea and thought down and to stay consistent and persistent. Most small businesses take years to see a profit and the millennial generation is microwave and expects overnight success.

Opening day

Generally, this won’t happen, and successful businesses are grown from “long game thinking.” Understanding and planning for long term success and preparing yourself to be persistent on the journey there will make the difference.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

In 5 years, I see Slutty vegan country-wide providing vegan experiences in communities where they would have otherwise never had that opportunity. We are here for the community.


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Former NBA Star John Salley Invests in Plant-based Pesticide Company

Four-time NBA champion, vegan, and wellness entrepreneur John Salley has acquired an equity stake in plant-based pesticide company, PureCrop1.

“I have successfully invested in several early-stage companies and feel PureCrop1 is a game changer, valuable to all sizes of Agriculture and can also be utilized by many companies I work with,” Salley, who will also act as a spokesperson for the company, said in a statement.

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Four-time NBA Champion John Salley, PureCrop1 President Chris Hale and Founder Ray Drysdale

According to the website, PureCrop1 makes biodegradable, nontoxic pesticides from renewable, plant-based sources like grain and seed crops. Compared to Monsanto, known for the controversial use of Roundup, PureCrop1’s formula leaves no poisonous residue on crops and is safe for people, animals, and the planet.

He continued, “It’s all about clean Agriculture, and elimination of toxic products sprayed on our fruits, vegetables, plants and of course the exploding cannabis industry. From my vantage point, PureCrop1 is an elite natural product, and is poised to grow by leaps and bounds in all forms of Agriculture.”

According to PureCrop1, its nontoxic pesticide has been proven to be effective in providing crops with natural resistance to disease and insects.

“I am really happy and excited to have John part of our team. John is well known, an intelligent successful business professional, and active in a healthy lifestyle,” said Ray Drysdale, founder of PureCrop1.

Championing a Safer Cannabis Industry

This is not the first time that the former athlete has invested in green businesses. Salley is a known cannabis reform advocate who also champions safe pesticides. Last February, Salley took an ownership position in GreenSpace Labs, a biotech company that provides testing services, lab supplies, and software to medical cannabis patients and growers. He aided in the launch of the GreenLite Screener, the company’s mobile pesticide screening device.

“I got involved with GreenSpace because I believe in the importance of clean cannabis, same as I believe in the importance of clean food,” Salley told Benzinga last March. “I always saw on movies that every drug was tested for purity. So why not test cannabis?”

Earlier this year, Salley co-founded the premium cannabis brand Deuces22 with his daughter, Tyla Salley, who serves as president and CEO. Named after the Brooklyn native’s NBA number, the LA-based company produces sustainably-sourced pre-rolls, vape pens, and topicals.

“There are a lot of cannabis brands all over the industry now, popping up and shutting down. But I wanted to make sure our brand was organic and, at the same time, luxury,” Tyla said. “I wanted people to know they can trust us, that we are not going to give them anything that can hurt them, but also that all the cannabis we provide is top shelf in every aspect, every time – and maintain this consistency over time.”

The pair hope to make Deuces22 the first CBD company to be available in CVS and Walgreens pharmacies.

Source: Live Kindly

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Black Owned Vegan Businesses You Should Know

As more people associate eating vegan with health and fitness, more businesses catering to the consumer in search of plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy. Here are a few Black owned vegan businesses that can cater to that need.

Black Owned Vegan Businesses

Azla Vegan (Los Angeles, CA)black owned vegan

Simply Wholesome (Los Angeles, CA)

NuVegan Cafe (Washington, D.C.)

Evolve Vegan Restaurant (Washington, D.C.)

Senbeb Cafe (Washington, D.C.)

Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar (Washington, D.C.)

​​Drop Squad Kitchen (Wilmington, DE)

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Eden in Eden (Miami, FL)

Tassili’s Raw Reality (Atlanta)

Loving It Live (East Point, GA)

Majani Restaurant (Chicago, IL)

Deelish by Deedi (Baltimore, MD)

Land of Kush (Baltimore, MD)

​​Detroit Vegan Soul (Detroit, MI)

​​Simply Pure (Las Vegas, NV)

Blueberry Cafe Juice Bar & Grille (Newark, NJ)

Seasoned Vegan (New York, NY)

Greedi Vegan (Brooklyn, NY)

Two Vegan Sistas (Memphis, TN)

The Southern V (Nashville, TN)

Green Seed Vegan (Houston, TX)

Sunshine’s Deli (Houston, TX)

 

Plum Bistro (Seattle, WA)

222 Vegan Cuisine (London, UK)

Yummy Dishes (Mississauga, ON)

Stuff I Eat (Inglewood, CA)

First Batch Artisian Foods (Atlanta, GA)

Sweet Soulfood (New Orleans, LA)

Brown Sugar Baking Company (Seattle, WA)

Bam’s Vegan (Dallas, TX)

V-Eats (Dallas, TX)

Recipe Oak Cliff (Dallas, TX)

Vegan Vibrationz (Dallas, TX)

Soulgood (Dallas, TX)

Slutty Vegan (Atlanta, GA)

 

 

-Tony O. Lawson


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22 Businesses in the $3.4 Trillion Health and Wellness Industry

Our list of Black owned businesses in the health and wellness industry is here right on time. Why? Because each new year is typically accompanied by resolutions related to improving health. My goals have generally stayed the same – to increase my income, improve my diet and to exercise more.

This past year, kudos to me, I’ve made quite a bit of progress. I’ve lost almost 30lbs in the past 7 months. Now, in the right lighting and depending on how much I’ve had to eat, I can actually see something that resembles a six pack. I owe much of this progress to whomever created the meme below.

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With so many factors negatively affecting our health, whether it is genetically modified food or the unpronounceable chemicals in our household products, it is even more important that we pay much closer attention to our health.

There are at least five chronic health conditions that disproportionately affect Black Americans more than any other group. Also, the health issues that were once unique to the West are now becoming prevalent on the Continent. Don’t be fooled by the late night infomercials featuring starving children.

Today, increasingly more people in developing countries go to bed having consumed too many calories rather than going to bed hungry. Being overweight is rapidly becoming a more common problem than being underweight. This is due in large part to the popularity of fast food chains spreading across Africa.

 

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The good news is that these days, whether you live in the Western hemisphere or on the Continent, it is likely that you are taking some steps toward living a healthier life.

Africans in Africa are rapidly becoming much more health conscious and the big bellies that once represented wealth and good living are not the status symbol they once were.

In the U.S., more Black people are also interested in fitness and health, as is evident by the large following that fitness-related sites like Black Men RunBlack Women Do Workout, and Black Fitness Today have amassed.

hbcu_5k1According to a report by the Global Wellness Institute, the $3.4 trillion Global Wellness Market is now three times larger than the worldwide Pharmaceutical industryThe report states that the sectors seeing the most significant growth since 2010 are the Fitness and Mind-Body industry as well as Healthy Eating, Nutrition, and Weight Loss industry.

What does this mean? Simply put, people are relying less on drugs to prevent and solve their health issues.
The Fitness and Mind-body industry ($446.4billion) includes gyms and health clubs; personal training and yoga. The Healthy Eating, Nutrition, and Weight Loss industry ($574 billion) include: health foods, natural and organic foods; weight-loss and diet services; diet and weight-loss foods and meal services; and anti-obesity prescription drugs.

Black Owned Businesses in the Health and Wellness industry

There are abundant opportunities available for Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs who are interested in in this industry. Here are several businesses and services that encourage health and wellness and will help you get in shape for the new year and beyond!

Healthy Eating, Nutrition, & Weight Loss

Food and Beverage

Black Owned Businesses

Jus Blend is a Jamaican-rooted; New York City-based family business that produces fresh, cold pressed juices to the city and surrounding areas. Their produce is “fresh and sourced within 24-hours of your order.”

Black Owned Businesses

Jimmy’s Vegan Cookies  Jimmy Prude is the founder of this wholesale Vegan Cookie company based in Chicago. His products are now available on select Whole Foods shelves.

Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar: Khepra Anu founded this Washington DC-based raw food juice bar that was featured in the Washington Post’s Best Eats in 2012.

The WaterHole is owned by Lisa Harris. This Maryland based juice bar also provides coffee, wifi cable, and good vibes.

Local Farms

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Five Seeds Farm is a family-owned and operated city and country farm in Baltimore, MD. This city-based farm was developed in the spring of 2008 in the backyard of a Belair-Edison neighborhood and quickly expanded to other vacant lots and private yards across the city.

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Renaissance Community Co-op has a mission to create a democratically-owned and controlled grocery store in Northeast Greensboro, NC, that provides all of Greensboro with healthy foods at affordable prices.

Black Owned Businesses

Patchwork City Farms is a family owned urban farm located in the South West Atlanta historic West End neighborhood. Patchwork City Farm’s mission is to “work with local landholders – public and private – to create a sustainable, naturally grown local food system.”

Fitness and Mind-body industry

Yoga

Black Owned Businesses

NY based Afro Flow Yoga infuses electrifying dance movements of the African Diaspora with a meditative yoga sequence of gentle yet powerful stretches. Founder, Leslie Salmon Jones is a former Alvin Ailey dancer, certified holistic personal trainer, yoga instructor, certified wellness coach, and public speaker.

Michael Hayes, the owner of NY based “Buddha Body Yoga,” has over 20 years experience teaching and has has traveled regularly to Thailand to study with master teachers. His class will benefit anyone regardless of their individual anatomy, flexibility, age, or yoga background.

Black Owned Businesses

Chelsea Loves Yoga is founded by Chelsea Roberts, PhD. She is an Atlanta based yoga instructor and educator. The purpose of Chelsea Loves Yoga is to illuminate the voices and images of yogis who have been traditionally eliminated or (under)represented in Yoga in the United States and abroad.

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Dade2Shelby  Derrick “DJ” Townsel, a former NFL athlete, has become an inspiration to thousands who didn’t think a passion for fitness or yoga could be a possibility for them— mainly men and people of color. Derrick is now a sought-after Certified Personal Trainer and Calisthenics Instructor based in Orlando.

12208487_1160592893969453_8166857437012076124_nSelamta Yoga is an eco-friendly yoga mat company based in San Diego and founded by Aregache Demelew, or “Mimi’. The company is dedicated to spreading the practice of yoga, eastern philosophy & culture to the world. Selamta means “Peace Be With You” in Amharic (a native language of Ethiopia)

Black Owned Businesses

Spa & Resorts

Black Owned Businesses

Virginia-based, Salamander Resort & Spa, features 168 luxurious rooms and suites, a luxury spa, full-service equestrian center, a dedicated cooking studio, wine bar, billiards room and a unique array of conference and banquet facilities.

Chatto Salon is a full service, eco-friendly salon located in the Gold Coast area of Downtown Chicago, IL, that offers its own natural and organic products.

Atlanta-based, IWI Fresh Garden Day Spa, partners with local farms and gardens and handpicks fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs to create fresh skin care products. They offer spa services such as Manicures, Veggie Pedicures, Veggie Facials, Herbal Massages, Waxing, Threading and Natural Hair Care.

Black Owned BusinessesFrancine’s Salon and Day Spa, the first Black owned Salon & Day Spa in Hartford County has been located in Bloomfield, Connecticut, for over a decade. The founder, Francine Austin, is a 20-year plus veteran of the cosmetology industry.

Fitness Centers

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Shaun Chambers, BodyRoc founder, is a former boxer and song writer. His BodyRoc Fit Lab is CT’s first dynamic, boutique boxing studio. A high-intensity workout that fuses fitness with entertainment, the signature circuit-style workout combines treadmills, heavy bag boxing, and weight training, all in a dance club environment.

Black Owned Businesses

KTX Fitness founder, Keith Thompson, has created an Atlanta-based cycle class that is guaranteed to have you sweating. KTX’s “Rock the Bike™” Cycle, Step, and Zumba are uniquely different and literally an exercise party as it provides a fun and challenging workout that is sure to have you working every muscle.

Black Owned Businesses

Rahman “Ray” Grayson, Mr. Shut Up and Train, is the founder of this Atlanta-based personal training company. His signature “In Motion” style of training focuses on keeping the heart rate elevated and the body in motion. Whether you are aiming to lose weight, build muscle, or gain endurance, Ray has the plan for you.

Knight’s Personal Fitness is a Philadelphia-based personal training facility founded by Tommi Knight. His first location was in a basement. A few months later he moved to a 1,100 square foot studio space. Now, Tommie trains clients in a 5,000-square-foot facility. I guess you can say, business is booming.

Dance

Black Owned Businesses

BRUKWINE is a Caribbean inspired dance workout created by professional dancers and choreographers, Tavia and Tamara. Brukwine, “Break out and Wine,” is a NY-based workout class featuring dancehall moves turned choreography, complete with waste winding and hot sounds straight from Jamaica.

The Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center is based in NY. Founded former principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater turned Director of Student Affairs (and founder of the OWLAG’s Dance Company) at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, DSPAC aims to mold the world’s next generation of elite dancers and artists.  No worries, they also offers a variety of classes for adults ranging from Orisa dance workshops to Afro-Caribbean technique classes.

Black Owned Businesses

 

-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson