By Angela Higginbotham

Born and raised in Jacksonville, Roy Blanco is a simple guy who values family most of all. A graduate of Jacksonville University with a degree in business, Blanco spent his early career in the corporate world working for UPS and in the insurance field, before joining his in-laws in the family business: pizza. Today, he says he loves his work in the pizza business. Renna’s Pizza has four locations around Jacksonville, including the Southside, and is a popular favorite among many. Blanco’s wife, Franchesca, is a kindergarten teacher. They have three children, aged 13, nine and five years old.

  1. What is the most rewarding aspect of being in the pizza business?

It’s a family-owned business, so there’s a lot of pride in that for me. We just opened the newest location on the Southside about three months ago. My in-laws migrated from Italy and opened their very first location off of Philips Highway, in the 1970s.

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  1. Is there a source of inspiration where your appreciation for family businesses comes from?

My grandfather had a sheet metal business in the 1940s and my grandmother kept it running for many years. The family worked hard together. There’s a lot to be said about being in a family business.

  1. What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?

It was a big move leaving the corporate world and joining the pizza biz. It’s a big deal when you take a plunge and join the family business that is so different than what you are typically used to doing on a daily basis.

  1. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Anything with family. I’m a family man, so I enjoy doing things with them most. These days it’s a lot of sports and activities with the kids. We love going to the beach as well.

  1. What is your favorite pizza?

That’s a very hard question. I’ll go with anything Sicilian. I’ve always loved the thick crust.

Photo courtesy Roy Blanco

Roy Blanco and family.


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