Stepping into Caffe Boa, one cannot help noticing the happiness with which both patrons and employees carry themselves. People are laughing, having a good time as sweet aromas fill the air.

For 15 years, Caffe Boa has been serving the Ahwatukee Foothills community. First established in 1995, the restaurant began as a vision. Founder and owner Scott Rennard always knew he wanted to help nourish a local culture unique to Ahwatukee by starting his own establishment.

“It seemed like a no-brainer and I had experience, so I said, ‘Let’s do this.’” Rennard said.

While other restaurants have come and gone, Caffe Boa has been able to maintain its neighborhood presence and continue to bring food and fun to the Ahwatukee community. Ahead of the recent eco-conscious movement, the restaurant has always served locally grown and organic foods. A testament to the high-quality food offered by Caffe Boa, the menu has changed little since the restaurant’s inception.

Now, critically acclaimed Chef Jamie Santoro has joined the staff at Caffe Boa. Only 29 years old, Santoro has had her fair share of successes as she enjoyed being a finalist in the sixth season of The Next Food Network Star and hosts a cooking show with Tram Mai on Channel 12’s new Valley Dish. Santoro formerly cooked for That Italian Place.

When That Italian Place closed, Santoro was at a loss, but was thrilled to be approached by Rennard. Wanting to retain her close relationship with her clientele, she loves the opportunity to stay close to the people and community.

When asked about her future with Caffe Boa, Santoro replied, “This (Caffe Boa) is a nice place to call home. The people are so gracious and so friendly. I want to bring fresh, new, exciting food as well as old classics from That Italian Place.”

For fans of Santoro, she will have exclusive kitchen rights on Sundays and Mondays. Santoro will bring her whole cooking repertoire as she looks forward to serving classics such as spaghetti and lasagna served with the widely requested Bolognese sauce.


Ahwatukee Foothills resident Timothy Lee is a senior at Desert Vista High School. He is interning this summer for the Ahwatukee Foothills News.

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