The reviews came after the restaurant announced in mid-June that it was teaming up with Atlanta eatery Big Dave's Cheesesteaks to provide Rayshard Brooks' family with life insurance, a new car, and full scholarships to Clark Atlanta University. Brooks was fatally shot by Atlanta police officers June 12 in the parking lot of a south Atlanta Wendy's.
Following the support for Brooks' family, Slutty Vegan also faced some backlash for a social media post in early June saying that it would no longer provide free meals for police officers in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers on May 25, sparking protests across the globe.
Cole said it wasn’t until she helped Brooks’ family, however, that the negative reviews were posted.
At the end of May, Slutty Vegan and Impossible Foods partnered to serve thousands of burgers to City of Atlanta first responders, including police officers, fire stations and waste management facilities.
Cole said more than 18,000 positive reviews were left on Slutty Vegan’s Yelp and Google pages in a 72-hour period following the negative reviews left on the pages.
She said the celebrities who are supporting today’s food giveaway reached out to her after hearing news of the negative review campaign.
In addition to her work with Brooks' family and first responders, Cole has also provided vegan burgers to a senior care facility, surprised a grandmother who survived breast cancer with free food and helped pay the tuition of 30 Clark Atlanta students.
She said she’s also partnering with Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks owner Derrick Hayes to provide every black man in the U.S. with life insurance. The initiative is slated to begin in August.
Slutty Vegan opened its brick-and-mortar location in early 2019 after operating for several months as a mobile food truck.
The restaurant quickly drew lines snaking down the block, offering a plant-based burger and fries menu with suggestive concoctions like the Ménage à Trois, a vegan patty loaded with vegan bacon and shrimp, and a messy mix of lettuce, tomato and special sauce.
Slutty Vegan also quickly became a fan of high-profile figures, including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Tyler Perry, Tamar Braxton, actress Taraji P. Henson, Da Brat and T.I.
A location in Edgewood will open "any day now," Cole said, with a location in Jonesboro to follow on July 11.
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