Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sumontita “Tammie” Disayawathana

March 11, 2024

Sumontita “Tammie” Disayawathana, Founder and Owner, Sisters Group is a high energy, multi-hyphenate executive with aspirations to bring the spirit, culture and authentic cuisine of Thailand to the United States. Tammie, a native of Bangkok, is always looking for collaboration opportunities, and her friendly personality has paved the way for meaningful connections to grow her business. Notably, 2024 will mark a significant milestone for Tammie as she opens her fifth and largest restaurant in the DC Metro Area. Alongside her business ventures, Tammie remains dedicated to giving back to the local community, particularly supporting young soccer stars.

Sisters Group Business

Sisters Group Business is known for their four beloved Thai restaurants in the DC Metro Area. In 2013 Tammie opened her first Sisters restaurant in Old Town Fairfax “The Living Room,” with the goal to be ingrained in the community for the long-run. Tammie focused on the guest experience by offering friendly, best-in-class customer service paired with the restaurant’s living room aesthetic, which allowed her customers to feel right at home. Contemporary design elements of bookshelves paired with chandeliers, leafy vines, open-air high ceilings, and a desire to offer incredible authentic Thai cuisine was the goal from the start. There was instant demand. Sisters’ strong customer base, paired with Tammie’s daily grind and passion, were the perfect recipe for success. Ideas grew, dishes were perfected, connections were forged, and Tammie began to make a name for herself in the community.

Sisters Mosaic opened in 2015, followed by Magnolia Dessert Bar & Coffee in 2017 in Vienna, Cabin John in Maryland in 2019, and then Alexandria in 2020. Sisters Tysons at Capital One Center will open in summer 2024 as their 5th and largest restaurant, featuring an outpost of their popular Magnolia Dessert Bar & Coffee. The Tysons location will offer the same contemporary yet comfortable “at home” ambiance as other locations, but with a larger 6,000+ sq. ft. footprint.  Tysons has been on Tammie’s radar, and Tammie notes the growing population, demographic and close proximity to DC and Virginia suburbs…with the bonus of being part of Capital One Center’s expansion. “You can’t beat this location.”

Baby Tammie and her father in Bangkok

Tammie plans to be very present at Sisters Tysons, as her friendly interactions with customers are part of the Sisters Thai experience. Tammie treats her guests like personal friends, creating an intimate and friendly atmosphere that defines the Sisters brand.

About Tammie

After earning a communications degree at Bangkok University, Tammie moved to Falls Church, Virginia in 1996, studied ESL at Georgetown University, and then received an MBA from Southeastern University in DC. While in school and immediately after, Tammie worked in hospitality – but has always had aspirations to start her own company with her well-connected network.

The Chef behind the Sisters franchise is Prasert Limsumanc, Tammie’s Uncle (lovingly referred to as Uncle Moo), who previously served as a soccer coach in Thailand. Tammie notes that Uncle Moo was very skilled in the kitchen, and when he moved to the United States she knew that she wanted to start a business with him. Tammie’s parents had a huge influence on her career: Tammie’s mother sold food in Thai markets and her father had a long career in public policy, government relations, and community engagement.

Tammie and friends in Bangkok

Beyond Restaurants

Another endeavor within Tammie’s portfolio is Sisters Entertainment, a cultural partnership with Thai musicians, artists, chefs, ambassadors, and more, which has a huge following on social media. Tammie notes how DC’s Thai population is fairly small (only one-third the size of the Thai population in LA), so her grassroots approach to community partnerships has been key to forging a local Thai network. Her customer’s involvement and support have been a strategic asset for Tammie’s business growth. The Sisters' customers enjoy introducing Tammie to fruitful connections because – simply put – they love her and they love her food. They want Tammie to grow and succeed.

Sisters Cup TournamentWinners, 2023 in Chicago

One of Tammie’s other community partnerships is centered around soccer sponsorships with US and Thai soccer teams. With her husband, Jaturon Srirote (a longtime soccer player), they support multiple local teams and tournaments. Tammie also serves on the board of the Thai Association of America, and has partnered on a number of embassy events – bringing her dreams to reality by supporting the growth of Thailand’s culture in the United States.

Tammie and team with Sisters Entertainment partners at Magnolia Dessert Bar & Coffee, 2023

Sisters Group has made a name for themselves as one of the top Thai restaurants in the DC Metro Area….but Tammie wants her restaurants and the Thai food genre to compete with other popular restaurant genres in DC: Italian, Mediterranean, contemporary American, etc. This fuels her ambitions to support the Thai community and culture. One notable celebration she wants to elevate is Songkran: the Thai New Year, with family-centric celebrations April 13-15th.

Tammie and her husband, Jaturon Srirote, at a Thai Embassy event in 2023

Best Dish?

During your next visit to a Sisters Group restaurant, be sure to indulge in Tammie's personal favors: Green Chicken Curry, Pad Thai, and Crispy Gapow.

Tammie and her classmates in Bangkok

Follow @sisterstysons and @capitalonecenter for the latest updates on Sisters Tysons opening this summer at Capital One Center at 7730 Capital One Tower Road Tysons, VA 22102.

Tammie with her husband, Jaturon Srirote, and their Sisters Tysons architect Pong Denpattanapitak, PDC Associates

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About Capital One Center

Capital One Center is a 35 acre mixed-use development in the heart of Tysons, VA. Anchored by the headquarters of Capital One, Washington DC's hometown bank, and home to its over 12,000 associates in the region, Capital One Center is quickly transforming the skyline and the cultural landscape of Fairfax County. This 3 million sq. ft. development is a vibrant arts & entertainment destination which includes a large skypark, The Perch—complete with Starr Hill Biergarten, food trucks, and an 18-hole miniature golf course—and a 300-all-suite hotel, The Watermark Hotel, numerous retail and dining options, and most notably a world-class corporate events and performing arts center, Capital One Hall.  In 2023 Capital One Park opened doors to a baseball stadium which hosts college, high school, and tournament games.