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Success Stories

Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria / Columbia City Eateries

RVCDF helped Tutta Bella remodel its flagship eatery, enhance customer experience and increase sales.

In January 2004, longtime Rainier Valley resident and former Starbucks marketing executive Joe Fugere, after studying in Italy the centuries-old pizza making traditions, founded Columbia City Eateries, LLC dba Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria in historic Columbia City.

Since then, the company has grown to five full-service restaurant locations throughout the greater Seattle area employing more than 200 people: Columbia City, Stone Way/Wallingford, Westlake, Issaquah and Bellevue, and even a food truck, D’Asporto, added in 2016. The original Columbia City eatery employs over 40 people.

Tutta Bella offers a casual environment with family friendly dining service. The dining room of a typical Tutta Bella restaurant seats between 150 to 200 patrons with outside patios that seat from 20 to 80 customers. The menu offers salads, pizza, lasagna, soups and beverages to include beer, cocktails, espresso and soft drinks as well as desserts.

“We feel like we have the opportunity and responsibility to transcend conventional practices and expectations in casual dining through our daily focus on nourishing lives with welcoming service and handcrafted Italian fare,” says Joe.

Nationally, Tutta Bella has been recognized for its success and for its environmentally friendly business practices. Locally, it is often cited as one of the many restaurant jewels of the Rainier Valley.

Joe first heard about RVCDF while attending a Rainier Chamber of Commerce meeting. In 2010, he received a business incentive loan for debt restructure and tenant improvements at the Columbia City site.

“Our loan proceeds were used to complete tenant improvements—a $300,000 remodel of the restaurant—including new access to the restrooms, lighting upgrades, new gelato case, new bar, and upgrades to our loft,” added Joe.

“The RVCDF proceeds allowed us to perform needed upgrades to enhance the guest experience,” said Joe. “Our new Italian gelato case in the lobby and other upgrades have resulted in measurable increases in sales.”


40 jobs retained
4 new jobs created
12% increase in revenues

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