Dreaming Big: Ciao Boji

It’s no secret that business owners are risk takers. There’s often not enough time or resources, and yet they put their necks on the line each and every day to find better ways to serve customers while providing good jobs for their employees. It’s a lot to take on! But, what kind of intestinal fortitude would it take to open a business during a pandemic?

Enter Ciao Boji of Arnolds Park, Iowa.

Local food. Global influence.Ciao Boji Owners feature image blog

Ciao Boji is a new female-owned restaurant where you’ll find a remarkable fusion of Mediterranean and Italian flavors all personally derived from the owner’s family recipes. Owner Julianna and her husband Tom start most mornings in the kitchen hand rolling meatballs, trimming meat, and chopping vegetables for the day. Ciao Boji sources their food as much as possible from local farmers markets within a 90-mile radius. Couple this thoughtful approach to food with an equally impressive wine list, and it’s no mystery why Ciao Boji is comfortably busy on most nights.

Like many businesses, the story of Ciao Boji began long before the doors opened. Owner, Julianna was born in Iraq and followed a path that led her through Lebanon, Italy and eventually to Chicago. While still in college, she and her brother opened a restaurant in Chicago called Costa Dora, preparing high end Italian food in the heart of the city. After meeting Tom, Juliana took a break from the food industry to raise three children, Alexandra, Demetrious, and Andreas. Eventually, they made the decision to leave Chicago to find a new place to plant their roots. Juliana and Tom settled in the Okoboji area of northwest Iowa.

Though this isn’t a food review, we may have eaten at Ciao Boji a few times while writing this article and were delighted. Many of us have been back to try something new and plan to return again and again. Whether you visit for lunch or dinner, expect warm greetings, excellent service, and exceptional food. Find your friends and neighbors dining in or stopping by for carry-out.

We’re thrilled Ciao Boji opened their doors and wish them many years of success. Be sure to check out Ciao Boji when you’re in the Spirit Lake, Okoboji or Arnolds Park area: https://ciaoboji.com.

Something new is coming from the success of Ciao Boji. The owners have opened a second Lakes Area restaurant in Arnolds Park called Prime Boji!


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