About Us

Meet the Erwin sisters!  Watch a video of Valerie and her sisters.

Geechee Girl Rice Café is dedicated to the love of food, the warmth of home, the respect for tradition and the commitment to community.

Valerie Erwin opened Geechee Girl—about a mile away from its current location—in 2003. Chef Valerie runs Geechee Girl with the help of her four sisters. Alethia, who manages the dining room, left a job in finance to work full time at Geechee Girl. In addition to Alethia, there is Michelene, who handles catering sales, Lisa who writes the newsletters and Alexandria who, despite a full time job in the finance industry, can be counted on to help out in an emergency.

Valerie and Alethia were taught to cook by their father, Alexander. Valerie distinctly remembers making dinner when she was eight. Although she had a life long love of food and cooking, Valerie did not originally intend to enter the field professionally. In fact, she majored in politics at Princeton University with an eye toward public service. But after getting her first restaurant job at The Commissary in 1979, she was hooked on the restaurant industry.

The Erwin sisters’ maternal grandparents were from Charleston; their paternal grandparents from Savannah. Geechee Girl’s menu pays tribute to the foodways of Georgia and South Carolina’s low country where rice is the staple food, to the traditional foods of the American south and to the millions of rice eaters around the world.