Whole Foods Is Being Criticized Over a Restaurant Called ‘Yellow Fever’
A new restaurant at a Whole Foods in Long Beach, Cal. has been met with controversy over its name.
After the Yellow Fever restaurant opened in a Whole Foods 365 store this week, many voiced their concern with the name choice, especially on social media. Some questioned Whole Foods and Amazon, which bought Whole Foods last year, for approving the restaurant name and its opening. The name comes from a disease spread by mosquitoes; it’s also a slang term referring to a romantic preference for Asian people.
However, the owner of the restaurant, chef Kelly Kim, who is Korean-American, says she’s operated numerous Yellow Fever restaurants and never faced any opposition to the name before now.
“I think it’s been silly, and I think it’s a bit funny that it’s all of a sudden a big deal,” Kim told the Daily News.
Whole Foods did not immediately return Fortune’s request for comment about Yellow Fever.
Kim added that she was re-appropriating the term and that the issue actually came up while working out the details of partnering with Whole Foods. The supermarket chain had Kim change some of the ingredients in her dishes, the Daily News reported.
“I hope that once they come in and try our food and see us for who we are and who we’re trying to be, that they’ll realize that they’re picking on the little kid, you know?” Kim told CBS.