Whole Foods Blasted for Partnering With Restaurant Called 'Yellow Fever'

The restaurant defended the term.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods on Union Station welcomed its first official shoppers on November 15, 2017 downtown Denver. The new store is located at 1701 Wewatta St on the north side of Union Station.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market is feeling the wrath of social media.

Earlier this week, it was announced that one of the store’s SoCal branches had partnered up with a California-based restaurant called Yellow Fever. The name of the chain immediately sparked outrage, as it's a slang term commonly used to describe an Asian fetish. Others have also pointed out that the term, which refers to a deadly tropical disease, is also used as a racial slur against people of Asian decent.

The restaurant is located at the newly opened Whole Foods in Long Beach, California. Kelly Kim, the executive chef and co-founder of Yellow Fever, has since defended her restaurant’s name, insisting the business never received any backlash until she partnered with Whole Foods.

“We've been in business for four and a half years; any backlash or any negativity has been almost none,” Kim, a Korean-American, told CBS News. “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?”

Despite the ill-conceived name, Kim claims that the new restaurant in Whole Foods is doing exceptionally well. She told CBS News the eatery is outperforming her two other locations by more than 100 percent.

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