Downtown Blacksburg Inc. is proud to present our business Member of the Month for December 2017 – Bollo’s Café & Bakery.
Bollo’s first appeared in downtown Blacksburg on May 7, 1994 in the space previously occupied by Gentry Studios next to Books, Strings & Things. Starting out as an extension from Gillie’s Vegetarian Restaurant, Bollo’s was the brainchild of Ranae Gillie and was intended to take over some of the coffee sales. As Gillie’s grew its menu the specialty coffees became too much and were taken over by Bollo’s completely. At the time there were only two other coffee shops in the whole of Blacksburg- Mill Mountain and the Easy Chair, there was no such thing as Starbucks!
Why “Bollo’s”- the name came from Ranae Gillie’s maiden name “Bolognese”, in recognition of her family originating from Bologna, Italy. Bollo’s & Gillie’s have been active business members of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. from the beginning, participating in Steppin’ Out, Summer Solstice Fest, Blacksburg Restaurant Week, Pretty In pink and many other downtown activities and events. Ranae has served many terms on the Downtown Blacksburg Inc. Board over the years.
It takes approximately 12 staff to keep Bollo’s open including Ranae, Noah Gillie, and her daughter in law, Yasmine. Felicia has been working with Ranae since 1992, starting out in Gillie’s and moving over to Bollo’s in 1994. Ranae said staff at Bollo’s either last a week….or stay forever!
The menu at Bollo’s evolved from coffee and baked goods to include savory items, Grab- n- Go sandwiches and wraps, and Kombucha. In keeping with the family business (Gillie’s) the fare is vegetarian (with some fish dishes). Bollo’s makes everything from scratch including their own Chai Tea, and offers Gluten Free options on Tuesdays & Saturdays and to order, as well as Vegan options. Bollo’s provides the baked goods and desserts for Gillie’s and bread, sandwiches and Gluten Free items to Eats Natural Foods located on North Main St at the roundabout. Bollo’s hosts one big event each year, usually on the first Sunday of December- the Annual Holiday Tea- an extremely popular, and delicious, afternoon treat! Due to the popularity of the event it is held in Gillie’s with all treats provided by Bollo’s!
Bollo’s will even cater for you! What better way to start a morning meeting or afternoon business retreat than with some of Bollo’s awesome coffee and baked goodies?
Be sure to check out the walls in Bollo’s which act as an ever changing gallery for local artists. There are books and games on the shelf to enjoy while you sit and absorb the atmosphere which can only be provided by a real downtown classic small business. Watch Facebook for details about the occasional live music performance inside! We’ve heard you might get to witness a little carol singing on Dec 21 around lunchtime again this year!
We’ve been told to remind you to be sure not to miss the beautiful balls in the window every December!
Bollo’s is located at
206 Draper Rd.
Blacksburg, VA 24060