Having just celebrated their 6th birthday, it is interesting to look back on the humble beginnings of Dolci Café. September 5th 2015 saw Dolci Café, a small pastry shop, serving breakfast and lunch, open in Craighall Park. Their idea was to focus mostly on pastries and decorative cakes, but to also serve breakfast and lunch as a way to bring people into the shop.
You know what they say, “If you want the universe to laugh, tell it your plans”. Being Italian, the lunch menu was mostly pastas, and it quickly became apparent that there was a larger audience for full Italian meals than there was for pastries. The small pastry shop rebranded and changed its logo, adding more tables and chairs, then a full dinner menu with a greater selection of wines and eventually expanding into the next-door shop serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Little did they know that this would not be the last expansion.
Dolci was conceived by Jackie Righi-Boyd after visiting Italy numerous times and seeing how well the pasticcini (pastries) and the Pasticceria’s (pastry shops) did in her native country.
Jackie studied at UCT and went into a corporate life but didn’t enjoy the rigid structure and lack of creativity in her day-to-day life. She studied her chef degree part time at the Food and Beverage Institute (FBI) in Johannesburg, while still working in corporate. Once that degree was completed, she packed up with husband Clayton, and moved to Italy for 6 months to get the practical side of her degree completed.
As the restaurant expanded so too did the Dolci team with first Zoran and then in 2018 Jackie’s mother, renowned restauranteur, Luciana Righi (Mamma).
The community and Dolci’s customers responded well to the new team and the full selection of Italian meals, from traditional, to more modern cuisine, to the pastries, but they felt they were still missing something… pizza. So when the restaurant next door became available (with a pizza oven installed) they jumped at the opportunity and Dolci Bar and Pizzeria was born!
“We come to the eve of our 6th birthday and the current restaurant known as Dolci Café and next door, Dolci Bar and Pizzeria. Covid has slowed us down, but not stopped us. We love our community and the support that has kept us going through these tough times and we look forward to many more adventures together.”
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