Spotlight: Gillie’s & Bollo’s

Ranae Gillie, owner of Gillie’s, is originally from Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, she grew accustomed to traveling throughout the U.S. from Florida to Texas. She ended up in Denver, Colorado, where she obtained a degree in Accounting and Finance from Metropolitan State College. After meeting her husband, she moved to Blacksburg, Virginia to join him in running Gillie’s.

The vegetarian friendly restaurant, on the corner of College Avenue and Draper Road, has been in operation since 1974! Even though it offers fish, Gillie’s has primarily been vegetarian. The restaurant has always offered freshly made in-store bakery items. And yes, it does have the best breakfast in town!

With its popularity rising, the store was soon running out of space. In 1994, Ranae Gillie open up Bollo’s, the coffee shop located at 206 Draper Road. Taken from Gillie’s maiden name, Bolognese, Bollo’s offers a variety of bakery items and café drinks. As an extension of Gillie’s, Bollo’s is where all the baking takes place. Ranae Gillie started as a main baker at the café offering bakery items from scratch everything from muffins, scones, éclairs, cookies, brownies, danishes and a variety of breads. It also offers vegan items every day and gluten free items on Saturdays. The café produces all the desserts and bread for Gillie’s.


Oh and what’s a café without coffee! Bollo’s offers a wide range of fair trade coffee and espresso drinks. You can even try local fair trade coffee coming from Honduras. Ranae Gillie explained her choice of coffee products as fair trade, organic and genuinely fresh tasting.

This experienced business owner loves her local community. She defines Gillie’s as a cultural center for the downtown. Every month, local artists are welcomed to display their artwork at both Gillie’s and Bollo’s. Musicians showcase their talent at Gillie’s on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights playing a variety from acoustic to late night music. The community oriented business also helps organizations host fundraisers from LGBT dances to Mountain Top Removal pie auctions.

Haven’t given vegetarian dinning a chance? Join Gillie’s in celebrating the New Year. For only $35, enjoy a special five course meal set by the main cook and baker. The meal includes amuse bouch, appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert. Make your reservation for Gillie’s New Year’s Eve Dinner!

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2 thoughts on “Spotlight: Gillie’s & Bollo’s

  1. Emily says:

    Love Gillie’s and Bollo’s! They do have the best breakfast at Gillie’s and the coffee and sweets at Bollo’s are far superior to what you get at large chains. Renae really puts her heart in to her work and it shows!

    • Dennis says:

      Gillie’s is a downtown “fixture” that I hope stays forever …. the atmosphere, the people, the food, all top notch. I remember when they opened in a space about half the current size, and sold Louis Sherry ice cream. Gillie’s and Bollo’s have the best baked goods in town. Keep up the great work Ranae.

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