Like American children dream of being a fireman or astronaut, Sardinia, Italy native Andrea Racca had always dreamed of opening a gelateria. After 20 years as an upper-level executive in the electrical industry, Racca decided it was time to pursue his childhood dream.
In February 2013, Racca opened Bobboi Natural Gelato, in La Jolla, Calif., along with his longtime friend and fellow Sardinia native, Marco Saba. In its first year and through not much more marketing than word of mouth, the quaint 850-square-foot gelateria received widespread acclaim, earning theNo. 8 ranking in Yelp’s “Top-100 Best Reviewed Places to Eat in America” in 2014 and Yahoo Food’s No. 2 pick for “Best Ice Cream Shops in America” in 2015.
“It took years to perfect our gelato recipe,” says Racca. “But what really makes Bobboi special is combining that recipe with the flavors of Southern California. As ingredients come into season, we use them as the inspiration to create new flavors. That’s probably the best part of the job, trying different combinations to create unique, delicious flavors. It’s a beautiful marriage between Italy and Southern California.”
With Bobboi, Racca combines his Italian roots and love of gelato, creating distinctive flavors made with Italy’s world-famous gelato-making techniques. He oversees all front and back-of-house operations, ensuring each batch of gelato is made with the freshest, highest quality ingredients and managing guest service. He continually visits local farmers markets and farms in Southern California, seeking inspiration for new gelato flavors and in collaboration with Saba.
Prior to opening Bobboi, Racca was COO of his family’s wholesale electrical business. He remained in his role as COO after it was sold to a French corporation in 1999, serving as one of the top managers for a company with 1,500 employees.
Racca received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of San Diego.
When he’s not in the kitchen perfecting a new gelato flavor, Racca enjoys spending time outdoors surfing, fishing, traveling and spending time with his family: his wife of 25 years and his two children.