Cole, a Baltimore native, graduated from Clark Atlanta in 2009. Slutty Vegan, a plant-based burger joint, has four metro Atlanta locations and one in Athens. There are plans to open locations in Columbus; Brooklyn, New York; and Birmingham, Alabama.
Cole’s journey as a restauranteur hasn’t been easy. Her first restaurant was destroyed in a fire. She encouraged the graduates to pursue their dreams and learn from failure.
“Find aspiration in the losses,” she said several times in her speech.
Cole has helped Clark Atlanta in other ways since graduating from the historically Black university. In 2019, Cole and Stacey Lee, another Clark Atlanta alumna, paid off the remaining debts of 30 seniors.