Our Story

 

 
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Cooking has always been a part of Robbie's life.

It started out like most people, cooking at home with their family. Robbie started making perogies (dumplings) with his grandmother from Yugoslavia when he was young. He didn’t want to cook, but he was the only one who was allowed to help her -- because he had patience, and his hands were small enough not to tear through the dough.

Robbie grew up with his grandmother cooking a soup, bread, and pie every single day in their house. This 4 1/2 ft tall little lady would wake up every day with the sun and would stop until midnight. She treated their house like a real-life commercial kitchen. No one came over and wasn’t fed properly and given food to take home with them. That was Donna, or "Little Donna," as Robbie's sister Jill had named her. 

These two incredible women encouraged Robbie's passion for cooking, and although neither are with us today, they continue to be a source of inspiration and strength. 

Little Donna's is built on their values of hard work, honesty, and caring for others through the comfort of a home cooked meal.

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Robbie Tutlewski

Robbie is the owner and chef of Little Donna's. Robbie is originally from Gary, Indiana, and he attended culinary school at Le Cordon Blue College of Culinary Arts in Chicago. He has since had the privilege of working alongside some of the best chefs in the industry. He spent the last 10 years of his life in Phoenix, Arizona before moving to his new home in Washington, DC. In Arizona, Robbie worked with Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco, one of his biggest mentors and a respected friend, helping to open new restaurants and learn about the integrity and intention behind the foods we cook and eat. In Washington, DC, Robbie worked with the creative talents at Tail Up Goat, before taking the leap to start his own business. Robbie lives with his wife and their two dogs, a pit bull and a pug. Robbie loves punk music and was once in a band aptly named "Sounds Like Sh*t," before, luckily for all of us, he realized his true calling is cooking and feeding people.

 
 
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Rachel Spera

Rachel Spera is the Marketing Director of Little Donna's.