Visiting the Land of “Fixer Upper”—Waco, Texas By Barbara Schmidt, studiobstyle.com

It was a quick trip. We had just an afternoon to travel through Waco, Texas on our way to Dallas a few weeks ago.  We spent a delightful afternoon visiting the Magnolia Market, Silos Baking Company and surrounding park area.

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The First Famous Landmark

Driving into Waco one cannot ignore the delight we had seeing the 22-story high Alico Building. It’s a familiar site for b-roll on HGTV’s Fixer Upper show featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines. And there it was, across town, as we drove over the Brazos river looming high over the rest of the skyline.

“Let’s just drive toward the Alico building,” I said because the Magnolia campus can’t be far away. If there was a warehouse district in Waco, this looked like it. There were lots of big single story buildings with loading docks that were in various forms of renovation. “Waco is turning into a boomtown,” we thought.

 

As we rolled into the vicinity of the Fixer Upper frenzy, we ran into both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Parking became difficult as throngs of people searched for a spot nearby. Not wanting to pay the $10 fee for lot parking we decided to walk a few blocks instead. There were lines for the store, the bakery and every food truck in the park and it was later on a Wednesday afternoon.

 

Farm Store First

After waiting for just a few minutes we entered the Magnolia Market. Obviously professionally styled, there were gracious displays everywhere with perfect focal points selling new goods. We loved the use of faux floral on the walls, the bicycle and the floral market displays.

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I couldn’t help being reminded of Anthropologie from one end of the store to the other. It was the display spacing, the use of various sized and shaped tables, the vintage feel and the mic’d employees, those shopping features so familiar to stylists already.

Speaking of employees – there must have been several dozen in the store alone – they were very cordial.  When I was checking out (two t-shirts and a few Magnolia branded dishes) they told me that this was a slow day. Really? I had to wait in line to check out too.

 

I bought a “Garden Mama” t-shirt because I love to garden all year round. I imagined myself puttering in our greenhouse wearing my Joanna branded t-shirt up to my elbows in dirt. I also bought a Texas t-shirt because it reminded me of Minneapolis Ragstock goods in the 80s.  And, of course, I bought dishes for my prop styling obsession – good thing they were small enough to fit in my suitcase.

 

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The Real Wait: The Silos Baking Company

This little shop was opened less than a year ago and featured on one of the more recent installments of Fixer Upper. Once we were in line, we the chance to chat with one of the bakers. She asked us to fill out our cupcake order with a little pencil and score sheet while we waited.

She told us one of the most popular was the Lemon Lavender but I settled on two options - the Vanilla Bean and the Salted Carmel. The words “super delicious” do not do this experience justice. The cupcakes are freshly made everyday – and in fact they can hardly keep up with demand. Our recommendation is to go there as a must do – it’s that good.

 

Magnolia Seed and Supply

We took time to walk the Magnolia Garden even though it was just the beginning of spring. The branch trellises and rolled plastic covers were still being used with the Texas colder nights. I loved the beaded hanging planters and the perfectly planted garden beds at the base of one of the Silos. Come summer this garden will be in full bloom.

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Parked on the Lawn

We also grabbed an iced tea at the Common Grounds food truck and walked the lawn and park area. Cute little tented picnic tables were set up for visitors to rest out of the Texas sun.  All in all it was a fun place to visit and well worth the detour on our trip. Would we do it again? Sure – just avoid Saturday and the super hot midday sun!

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Barbara Schmidt