And yes, it is all that.
The most refreshing thing about making a visit to Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas is that it is brimming with nice. Just plain old pleasant, thoughtful, nice.
Of course, you’ll get the full dose of Joanna Gaines’ elegant, classic design sensibility the minute you drive up to the property, from the crisp black and white buildings connected by a harlequin grass-and-paving stone yard to a market full of original designs, from dishes to planters, furniture and jewelry.
Nice, not nasty, makes for TV you want to watch and then visit
The tone of Fixer Upper, HGTV’s most popular show is different from most reality shows. There’s no drama (other than occasional scurrying vermin), there’s no nastiness or arguing and the only suspense is in waiting to see the the delight of the homeowners when they see their new digs.
The show has been so popular its reruns are in overdrive, there are spinoffs in the works, it inspired a popular magazine and it’s credited with driving up the price of local Waco real estate.
And, it brings 35,000 visitors to town each week. Yes, 35 THOUSAND. Every week.
They’re not crowds, they’re guests, and Magnolia Market is their back yard
My friend Rebecca and I recently visited Magnolia Market at the Silos, named for the historic silos that anchor the property set in a part of Waco that looks more like Mayberry than a mid-sized Texas city. We meandered around the property with her friend Steve, a local Waco resident.
Even before going into the Market or the Silos Baking Company, you get the idea of the Gaines’ vision: not to just a place to sell stuff, but to have a community of businesses that would employ their friends and neighbors and delight their visitors. It’s anchored by a wide, green lawn where visitors can relax and enjoy the day. The lawn is lined with food trucks (including one where you can buy cupcakes from the bakery) and there is a pavilion with picnic tables where guests can sit and eat. There are also picnic tables under black and white stripped canopies, bean bag chairs, a concert stage set between the silos and maybe the best swing set ever with swings suspended from industrial conveyors that ran between the silos and out buildings.
Strawberries 'N Cream, Lemon Lavender, Red Velvet, & The Chocolatier cupcakes from @silosbakingco @magnolia #cupcakes #yummy #yum #magnolia #magnoliamarket #magnoliamarketsilos #silos #fixerupper #thesouth #texas #waco #wacotexas #spring #summer #SL #sltravels #southern #southernfood #southernlife #southerncharm #southernliving #deliciousfood #delicious #food #cooking #baking #bakery #mysouthernliving
The vibe at Magnolia is relaxed and comfortable. Kids can run around, play and get tired (again, that swing set!). You can relax, eat, play and shop. There is also a schedule of concerts and events and occasionally you might even see Chip and Joanna.
Magnolia Market at the Silos: an oasis of style in a city that needed it
Over pizza from 900 Pizzeria pizza truck (all the trucks are hand picked by Chip and Joanna), Steve shared that locals are grateful for the thousands of weekly visitors; they fill the hotels and motels, eat at local restaurants and shop in local stores. Often when a successful business pops up in town, it’s the opposite: The town’s character is compromised.
Luckily that isn’t the case in Waco: the impact of Fixer Upper has been to help Waco blossom. Houses that boast a Gaines makeover are in demand, businesses are flourishing after being featured on the show and food, from the food trucks in town to other local restaurants, are the highlights of tourist’s visits.
Taking a bit of Fixer Upper home with you
After lunch we hit the market. People crowded the market’s front porch waiting to get in while others streamed out, shopping bags filled with finds inspired by the show, each designed to bring a little bit of loveliness to every day.
At the market, you can buy Chip’s polar fleece vests, hats, sunglasses or a “#DemoDay” sign. You can buy elegant home decor, wall signs with inspirational sayings, bound paper journals and dinner ware. You can also buy gardening tools, seeds, pots and some of the most magnificent silk flowers you’ve ever seen.
Tips for visiting Waco and Magnolia Market at the Silos
The demand for Fixer Upper design has sparked a whole new industry in Waco: Design tourism, which is seen all over town. If you visit, of course, stop by the market first. Parking is free in the lot immediately next to the market and also, there is a free trolley from downtown.
After you’ve visited Magnolia Market (and had lunch and a cupcake) be sure to also see:
- Spice Village
- The Findery
- The Cedar Chest
- Junque Queens
- Cameron Trading Company
- Harp Design Co. (designer Clint’s shop)
- And you can stay at Magnolia House for $995 a night, two night minimum (it sleeps eight and is booked up through the end of 2017)