Nicole Baker’s goal with the BMore Well segment is to give you easy, practical everyday tips on staying well, safe and happy.

She will spotlight stories that bring you a dose of wellness during our newscasts, and you’ll find longer-form stories streaming monthly on CBSN Baltimore.


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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — “Just like me, a girl from around the way in East Baltimore who comes from humble beginnings, I can make it and I can come back and I could rep my city and support.”

Pinky Cole is hardly home, but always reppin’.

“No the accent ain’t going nowhere,” she said.

Cole is loyal to the Charm City soil, but her rich, layered reach is now savored around the country. At 34-years-old and with numerous locations, her “Slutty Vegan” empire — a name that came to her — is no foodie trend.

Thousands wrap around the buildings waiting for a “one night stand” or “fussy hussy.”

That’s a long way from her Baltimore beginnings.

“Coming from where I come from, both of my parents are Jamaican,” she said. “My father, he ended up doing 22 years in prison. And he got arrested in Baltimore because he was a big-time drug dealer and you know, I grew up humble beginnings.”

Watching her mom –a local celebrity in her own Baltimore right -gave her the blueprint to live life in full gear. And what she’s serving up is deeper than food.

“I went vegan because I really wanted to open up my mind and my consciousness.”

The multi-million dollar movement boiled over into a cultural icon. A success handcrafted by failure, after a grease fire at her first restaurant.

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“I had a restaurant before, it was called Pinky’s Jamaican and I sold meat, but it wasn’t in alignment with who I was,” Cole said. “So I see the difference now that I created Slutty Vegan. Not only do I get to walk in my purpose, I get to do what I love and I get to help other people. So when I think about Slutty Vegan [means] to me now, it’s bigger than just helping people to reimagine food.”

That alignment birthed her legacy and reminded any and everyone that they can do it too.

“…That higher value is creating community, creating an ecosystem and showing people that you can literally be anything you want to be as long as you put your heart and mind to it,” Cole said.

Another helping of the vegan empire is coming full circle.

“A very exclusive tip, so I’m actually coming to Baltimore to look at some locations,” Cole said. “Just know it’s going to be a big celebration because it will be a homecoming for Pinky Cole.”

On the menu of things she’s known for, her bestseller is actually priceless. Cole started the Pinky Cole Foundation in which she has paid for college tuition and raised money for families.

The foundation is made to help people of color build generational wealth.

“Helping people gives me a level of joy and comfort that money could never give you,” Cole said.

Between blessings, she soaks in a career milestone: the face of Essence Magazine’s most recent cover.

i got offered alongside derrick to do essence magazine and it was like a dream come true”

pinky’s recipe is simple: eat your plants.. And live your purpose..

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“… You gotta be kind to people, you gotta be nice to people, you gotta be able to support other people. And all that good energy is really gonna flow back to you. And really provide all the things that you need”.

CBS Baltimore Staff