Bio: Juanita Bass

Juanita Lorraine Bass was Born Juanita Holmes in the upstate New York town of Bridgewater on May 19, 1935 Her father, Everett Holmes, went on to become the town's first black mayor in New York's History.

In 1953, Juanita graduated from high school with honors. She married C.W. Bass and settled in Frankfort, New York and raised six children. She was married to the late C.W. Bass for forty-five years.

In 1988, Juanita purchased an historic Victorian-era Italianate home in Bridgewater, refurbished it and opened it as The White House Berries Inn, the nationally-known restaurant and Bed & Breakfast, famous for its classic American Soul Food cuisine and authentic Victorian appointments. Juanita and The White House Berries Inn have been featured in many newspapers, books and magazines. Other than her six children, Juanita considers the White House Berries Inn her finest achievement.

Juanita has received numerous honors and awards, including: New York State Women of Distinction (nominated by Senator Raymond A. Meier); recognition from the upper Unadilla Valley Association for the Preservation of Historic Buildings; the Salute to Outstanding Women Award from the YWCA of Utica, New York; the Alpha Theta Chapter of Lambda Kappa Nu Sorority; and the Mohawk Valley Frontiers Outstanding Business Achievement Award.

Juanita has studied Business at Mohawk Valley Community College, and remains very active in her community, serving on several boards of directors, including that of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Utica & Watertown, an Excellus Company.

In her spare time she enjoys cooking, gardening and dealing in antiques.