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An Atlanta entrepreneurial couple is melting the internet with a public proposal.

Derrick Hayes, CEO and Owner of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks popped the question to Pinky Cole, CEO and Founder of popular vegan fast-food chain Slutty Vegan during the 2022 Essence Festival.

30th Anniversary Bounce Trumpet Awards

Source: Robin L Marshall / Getty

Hayes was on a panel at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center with Cole who’s expecting his second child, and he got down on one knee.

An emotional Cole was seen crying while Hayes thanked her for having his back and placed the ring on her finger.

The couple’s engagement at Essence is especially serendipitous because the couple covered a recent issue of the magazine.


Source: Drea Nichole / Essence

Inside their “Hot In The Kitchen” cover story, the business owners discussed everything from food, community, their love for each other, second chances, and how they turned their multimillion-dollar businesses into a family affair.

“I think that our relationship is symbolic of what the world should look and feel like…It should look and feel like a place where there is no judgment,” Cole told Essence about their love story. “Just because you might not believe in the things that I believe in, doesn’t mean that we can’t come together in friendship, love and spirituality…”



30th Anniversary Bounce Trumpet Awards

Source: Robin L Marshall / Getty


Congrats to the happy couple!



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