Rachelle Jamerson-Holmes

Rachelle Jamerson-Holmes is pictured with a bottle of World-Famous Rachelle’s Island Tea.

Rachelle Jamerson-Holmes, co-owner of Thee Matriarch Bed & Breakfast in Orangeburg, has been named the South Carolina Rural Business Person of the Year by the United States Small Business Administration.

“I am humbled and honored to be the recipient of the 2020 SBA Rural Small Business Person of the Year Award," she said.  "The fortitude required to persevere during these unprecedented times is fueled greatly by this prestigious recognition."

"As a proud Orangeburg native, I stand on the shoulders of all of those that have paved the way for my journey to be possible," she continued. "Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and rural SC is filled with talented, skilled, innovative entrepreneurs and working professionals. I salute them all as well as the other SBA award recipients.”

Winning awards is nothing new for Jamerson-Holmes and her husband, Chef Fred Holmes. In 2014, Thee Matriarch was named among the Top 7 Black-owned Bed & Breakfast Inns in America. In 2015, it was listed as one of the 12 Unforgettable Vacation Venues in South Carolina by OnlyInYourState.com.

In 2018, their premium ice team brand, Rachelle’s Island World Famous Island Tea, was voted as the “1st Place People’s Choice Best Sweet Tea” at the 7th Annual Sweet Tea Festival in Summerville, SC.

In addition, Rachell Jamerson-Holmes is the founder and president of the EmpowerHer Orangeburg Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA). In December 2019, the chapter was honored as one of the Top Ten ABWA Chapters in America after being in existence for only one year.

Thee Matriarch Bed & Breakfast is located at 1170 Fischer Street in Orangeburg. For more information, to purchase bottles of Rachelle’s Island World Famous Island Tea, book a visit or an event at Thee Matriarch, visit www.theematriarch.com. You may also call (803) 937-4271.


Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has proclaimed National Small Business Week which is usually held in May. Due to COVID-19, SBA's national virtual event was held September 22-24, to recognize the contributions of the small businesses that drive America’s economy. In honor of Small Business  Week, the US Small Business Administration South Carolina District Office holds its annual small business awards  ceremony to celebrate both the small businesses that drive South Carolina’s economy and the business advocates  who work to improve our state’s entrepreneurial environment. Specifically, the ceremony honors the state winners of the SBA’s small business awards competition, which begins in the fall of the previous year. The awards nominations undergo a strenuous clearance and review process to ensure that the winners selected are truly extraordinary.  

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