Basking in success often comes with its own share of battles.
Founded by Pinky Cole in 2018, Slutty Vegan has become an ultra popular plant-based restaurant franchise.
As AfroTech previously told you, a former employee of Cole’s company Bar Vegan claimed she and her partners Aaron Mattison and Jason Crain withheld wages from them. In addition, they are being accused of paying employees less than minimum wage and taking a portion of their tips.
“Up until this point, I was not familiar with this ordeal or the employee, because I don’t run day to day operations at Bar Vegan,” Cole explained in an Instagram post. “The people who know me, know I ONLY operate in integrity, so this is a wicked narrative especially when this is nothing more than an allegation.”
She continued, “At the end of the day, my name means more to me than any money that could EVER go in my bank account — and I will NEVER let anybody destroy that.”
Now, Cole has revealed that the lawsuits against Slutty Vegan have continued to roll in heavily.
During a sit-down discussion at BLACK ENTERPRISE’s Disruptor Summit, the founder and CEO opened up about the legal battles she is involved in.
Cole shared with the audience that Slutty Vegan has been “more of a target than we’ve ever been before.”
The founder also said that she and her team have been adamant about putting policies in place and keeping an effective human resources team on deck but ultimately, they aren’t perfect.
“Imagine having 450 employees and making sure that you’re serving all of their needs,” Cole said, according to the outlet. “Some people going to slip through the cracks. We might not always get it right, but we do the best we can.”
In the midst of the allegations and looking to clear her name, Cole notes she’s taking her lessons learned of what it takes to run a multi-million dollar business to reach higher heights.
“I made the biggest mistake of hiring family in business and I will never do that again,” she admitted at the summit. “And I love my family. But it also just tells me that [if] you want to build a multi-million dollar company, you have to move like a multi-million dollar company. You have to move like a corporate entity. You have to move like the big conglomerates move. And be very clean in your approach in everything that you do.”
“Luckily, I have an all-star legal team,” she added. “Luckily, I’ll have an all-star accounting team that protects us every step of the way because I’m moving into the billion dollar space.”