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Who owns The Bigg Chill? Demi Lovato's apology called "comical" by LA-based frozen yogurt shop's co-owners

Demi Lovato is not having the best of times (Image via Getty)
Demi Lovato is not having the best of times (Image via Getty)
Neetha Kurup
ANALYST
Modified 20 Apr 2021
News

Demi Lovato has issued an apology following her calling out LA-based yogurt store, The Bigg Chill. However, the owners, Cary Russell and her mother, Diane Dinow, felt the apology was "comical."

The apology comes after Demi Lovato said the frozen yogurt chain was pandering to diet culture. She wrote on Instagram Stories that the store's range of diet-conscious products made it "extremely hard" for her to place an order, adding the hashtag #DietCultureVultures.

Following the backlash, Demi Lovato posted an apology video on Instagram, apologizing for anyone offended by her message, which she said had been "misconstrued."

The singer admitted that she did not "lift the froyo place up."

"I'm genuinely sorry that people took it the wrong way. I just get really passionate."

The mother-daughter owners of The Bigg Chill took Demi Lovato's apology in stride.


Who are the owners of The Bigg Chill?

The Bigg Chill opened its first store in a strip mall in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1990. With a pink-on-aqua color scheme and safe yogurt flavors like chocolate and vanilla, the frozen yogurt store slowly rose to become a staple within the city.

Perhaps the secret of the company's success came down to the fact that the owners were a family. It was Diane Dinow who first decided to begin the yogurt store. After quitting the real estate business and selling her home, she decided to buy a yogurt shop in the early nineties.

She also did her research. Working with the former owner for three months, Dinow learned how to run the business and order supplies.

However, as soon as she took over, she changed all the flavors, added fat-free muffins, cookies, and many sugar-free and healthier items, and as she told The Washington Post:

"Then everything just took off."

Dinow and her daughter Cary Russell are mentioned as the owners of the chain by Fox News. However, the report from The Washington Post from 1994 also states that Dinow's son, Michael Mendelsohn, was also a co-owner. The current status of Mendelsohn's involvement is unclear.

When the store was in its early days, its unusual flavors and the generous portions of yogurt and toppings led to more than 100 people visiting each day to ask which eight flavors would be available that day.

These flavors โ€” of which there were more than 200 โ€” were mainly concocted by Mendelsohn.

By 2011, the owners said that The Bigg Chill averaged 1,000 customers a day, with the numbers rising on weekends. The curiosity to know which flavors would be available per day also persisted with customers.


What do The Bigg Chill's owners think of Demi Lovato's apology?

Owners Russell and Dinow spoke to Fox News over the incident with Demi Lovato and said that the entire situation, including her apology, is "comical."

They also noted that it was "nice news to wake up to" that British talk show personality Piers Morgan had come to The Bigg Chill and its owners' defense against Demi Lovato's statements.

"We had seen him come in back in the day, and we have a pretty big celebrity following."

Russell certainly felt confused over Demi Lovato's attack against The Bigg Chill's offerings of diet-conscious foods, feeling that it "had come out of left field."

"Most celebs who do come here did reach out but were laughing about the whole thing because the stuff we carry isn't even our own products. We sell the same stuff she'd find in a Whole Foods, so if she's really upset to that level, she should go directly to the source."

However, owners Cary Russell and Diane Dinow said that they had no ill will towards Demi Lovato, noting that The Bigg Chill has been around for almost 40 years.

"We hope to remain a staple here for many more decades to come."
Published 20 Apr 2021
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