Pepsi is giving away $ 10 million to black-owned companies. Atlanta’s Slutty Vegan is the first.
Atlanta, GA-based vegan restaurant chain Slutty Vegan is an early recipient of the Black Restaurant Accelerator Program, a joint $ 10 million initiative by the PepsiCo Foundation and the National Urban League that serves 500 black restaurant owners in 12 cities will provide capital, technical assistance and mentoring services over the next five years. With the reopening of the United States, this program aims to provide critical support to black restaurateurs who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
“As the pandemic exposed existing disparities faced by many minority business owners, we saw a fundamental threat that could undo the decades of advances made by black-owned restaurants. This investment will not only help black restaurateurs recover from the pandemic, but will also put them on the path to long-term economic resilience, “said C.D. Glin, Vice President, Global Head of Philanthropy at The PepsiCo Foundation. “We are inspired by the advances we are making through our collaboration with the National Urban League to fill a fundamental void and create opportunities for black business owners to build generational wealth and further empower their communities.”
Black entrepreneurs have been particularly at risk since the pandemic, according to Stanford University’s Institute for Economic Policy Research. Forty-one percent of black-owned businesses have closed since February 2020, compared to just 17 percent of white-owned businesses. Many black-owned restaurants have had to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, catering services. Slutty Vegan and other Black Restaurant Accelerator recipients now have access to funding and tools, including back office and accounting systems support, inventory management, and marketing support, to help attract more customers.
How Slutty Vegan began
In August 2018, the vegan entrepreneur Pinky Cole launched Slutty Vegan for the first time as a food truck and sold vegan burgers with provocative names – such as One Night Stand and Fussy Hussy – with Impossible burger patties, which were served with different toppings and coated with a secret sauce become. After the truck had drawn hungry guests waiting to be “worn out” for five hours, Cole opened its first stationary location in Atlanta in January 2018 and attracted 1,200 customers on opening day. Cole currently operates three Slutty Vegan locations in Georgia.
At the beginning of the year she opened the spin-off concept Bar Vegan in Atlanta, which serves vegan Philly cheesesteaks and imaginative cocktails. Slutty Vegan’s first restaurant location outside of Georgia is planned for Birmingham, AL later this year.
Pinky Cole returns
Through their non-profit The Pinky Cole FoundationCole, 33, is also giving back by supporting community building and social justice initiatives with the aim of providing a roadmap for black economic progress. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the foundation’s efforts have included paying tuition fees for 30 Clark Atlanta University students to help them stay in school; Paying overdue electricity and gas bills from fighting families in Atlanta; Paying rent to small businesses in metro Atlanta to keep them afloat during pandemic; and providing employment and paid education to 30 former incarcerated youths through the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, along with $ 10,000 in annual scholarships for those youths to pursue higher education beyond high school.