Twins Aris and Raymond, owners of their family’s Dominican restaurant Los Hermanos in Columbia Heights, bring a sense of home and community to the neighborhood which is fueling their success and growing reputation. In 1995, the twins’ parents started Los Hermanos as a small convenient store serving primarily the Latino community. At the time, Columbia Heights was a predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhood. Aris and Raymon as young as ten years old recall helping their parents at the store during their schools breaks and on weekends. Instead of buying food at one of the local fast food spots, their mom bought a small electric tabletop stove where she cooked homemade meals at the store for her sons and the rest of the family and friends that worked with them. Customers at the store—curious about the delicious smells coming from the back—quickly began requesting to sample her Pollo Guisado and Moro de Gandules. Customers were so happy with the samples they decided to start selling mom’s dominican food. In 2005 the Columbia Heights neighborhood underwent a massive transformation: Giant opened a new grocery store, a metro station was built, and many other convenience stores opened in the neighborhood. The changing neighborhood and the success of the food meant the family decided to close their convenience store and open a restaurant in its place.
Aris and Raymond decided to step in and manage their family’s restaurant in order to meet the needs of a changing community. Born and raised in the United States, the twins were able to connect with the new community and communicate with growing non-Spanish Speaking customers. Today, Los Hermanos is a staple in the Columbia Heights food scene and has even earned notoriety across the district. Aris and Raymon receive visitors from all over the country and they’re all looking forward to enjoy homemade Dominican food.
“Anyone who has lived in a foreign country understands the immense comfort and nostalgia evoked by delicious home cooked food from one’s native country,” says Aris. “People from Miami, Houston, and New York come tell us they felt as if they were eating food made by their moms, grandmas, and aunts.”
Aris understand that owning a business like Los Hermanos comes with a lot of responsibility, especially in how they represent the community around them. This is why for Aris and Raymon it is very important to give back to their neighbors. Every year they partner with many local non-profit organizations in Columbia Heights to donate their delicious food for special events and CentroNía is extremely proud to have a partner like Los Hermanos in our community. Get a taste of Los Hermanos authentic Dominican food at this year’s Buen Provecho! A Taste of Columbia Heights.