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Success Stories

Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizza / Garlic Gulch Partners

RVCDF helped Garlic Gulch Partners purchase the historic building that a beloved neighborhood eatery calls home.

In 2016, business partners Joe Fugere and Barry Ziker collaborated to form Garlic Gulch Partners, LLC—a real estate company with one objective: To purchase the historic Columbia City building where the original Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria—a beloved neighborhood restaurant—is located.

“Our goal was to preserve both the past and the future of the business,” said Joe, Tutta Bella’s founder.

The name Garlic Gulch refers to the nickname of the Rainier Valley given by South Seattle residents in the early 20th century—an affectionate reference to the large number of Italian immigrants who lived there.

Barry is a local attorney who provides legal services for Joe’s primary business, Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria, a family of neighborhood pizzerias throughout the greater Seattle area. The company’s home office sits right next door to the Columbia City restaurant.

Garlic Gulch needed financing in order to purchase the historic building that Tutta Bella has called home since 2004. The partners were familiar with RVCDF since Tutta Bella had previously received financing to complete some significant capital improvements to the building.

“The experience was so positive that we contacted RVCDF first to request funding for the building purchase,” said Joe. “We loved working with RVCDF.”

Garlic Gulch Partners used the loan to help fund critical improvements, including a new roof and new HVAC system. Tutta Bella customers and employees have never been happier, considering their old cooling system was severely outdated and the roof frequently leaked during storms.

“We hope to serve our sole customer and be the best possible landlord to our tenant,” says Joe with a smile.


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