We study effective quiver gauge theories arising from a stack of D3-branes on certain Calabi-Yau singularities. Our point of view is a first principle approach via open topological string theory. This means that we construct the natural A-infinity-structure of open string amplitudes in the associated D-brane category. Then we show that it precisely reproduces the results of the method of brane tilings, without having to resort to any effective field theory computations. In particular, we prove a general and simple formula for effective superpotentials.