Giuseppe Carollo is the almost- 28-year old co-owner of the newly-opened Bocca Toscana, located in the Village Shopping Center near the University of Richmond. We had a chance to speak with him about the new space, his favorite items on the menu, and what advice he has for other young restaurateurs looking to make their mark in this town.
Giuseppe Carollo is the almost- 28-year old co-owner of the newly-opened Bocca Toscana, which he runs with his mother, Elizabeth. We had a chance to speak with him about the new space, his favorite items on the menu, and what advice he has for other young restaurateurs looking to make their mark in this town.
Did you grow up in the up in the restaurant business?
Growing up, my parents had several restaurants: Brothers Pizza in Willow Lawn and Frank’s Ristorante in Stony Point, just to name a few. I have been working alongside my dad at his restaurants for as long as I can remember, mastering his recipes.
Talk to me about your menu. What kinds of dishes do you offer?
The menu has something for everyone: pizza, a large selection of raviolis, veal, sandwiches, and even chicken fingers and colored goldfish-shaped ravioli for the kids.
What’s your favorite thing on the menu?
Well the “Giuseppe Favorite” is obviously one of my favorite pizzas- sliced hotdog and mushrooms. The lobster and crab ravioli is probably my favorite dish though.
Do you have any weekly food or drink specials?
We have different lunch and dinner specials every day and will be starting drink specials soon.
Tell us about the atmosphere, the décor, the feel of your place
Bocca has a warm, cozy atmosphere. The walls are filled with old family photos and the stone counter definitely makes you feel like you are in Tuscany.
Why did you decide to start a restaurant and why now?
I knew I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and I’ve always loved the Village Shopping Center. The Village is a popular destination and when a space opened up, we felt we couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
What makes your place unique from other Italian restaurants?
Everything is fresh. The atmosphere is unique and the owner is always around to make you feel like you are part of the family.
Tell us about your use of social media. What do you hope to get out of it?
Facebook allowed us to spread the word about Bocca Toscana before we were even open. It enables us to communicate with our fans about different specials and events, and it also houses our takeout menu.
Do you have any advice for other young people looking to start their own place?
Don’t force it. It has to be the right place, at the right time with the right product. Get as much experience as you can.
Bocca Toscana is located at 7021 Three Chopt Road in the Village Shopping Center near the University of Richmond. You can learn more about it by checking out their Facebook page or their listing in our Eats directory.