This past week, I headed to Belton, Texas to present at the Mother Earth News Fair. This time my daughter came along with me. Last year, when I visited the Magnolia Market Silos I really wanted to bring her back with me, as she is a huge fan of Fixer Upper on HGTV. So, with a copy of my book, A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, and my daughter in tow, we drove north a little over thirty miles to give a copy of my book to the Gaines Family. Traveling to the Magnolia Market at the Silos is such great fun and the atmosphere can be compared to a decorator’s Disneyland. Today, I’m sharing our adventures and a few tips for you if you’re going to the Silo’s for the first time.
1. Go early and if possible not on the weekend. This includes Friday. The Magnolia Market opens at 9 am and the bakery at 7:30 am, so be sure to get there early to take advantage. I must admit as the morning went on, it became more and more crowded and we found ourselves wading through people. This can make it a bit overwhelming and less enjoyable.
2. Take advantage of the free-parking. Now this was an issue a month or two ago, and you will find plenty of neighboring businesses charging a parking fee to use their lots. There is some street parking but if you continue to go on the side of the complex adjacent to the silos and just beyond the food trucks, Chip and Joanna have created a large free parking lot for the visitors, so be sure to check that out first. There are at least 100 parking spots there.
3. Come friendly. Everyone is so nice and excited. It is a wonderful place, so be sure to smile and ask questions. Texas hospitality is overflowing.
4. Get to the bakery first. The Silos Baking Co. is the newest venture, it is also the most crowded. It is not uncommon for crowds to wrap their way around the building.
As you stand in line, you are provided a cardboard selection card and pencil. This helps you to make your decisions quickly and moves the line right along. Once inside the bakery, you are quickly moved through the line and your order is ready within minutes. Be sure to check out the bathroom in the bakery. It is a single stall and oh so sweet!
5. Next explore the Magnolia Market. Here Joanna and Chip’s visions come to life. From the staging to the construction, it is as if the show has come to life. Be sure to sign the guest book as you enter. Employees are abundant and stocking things as they literally seem to fly off the shelves. If you are looking for something, they help you to find it and check the stock room too. It is clear that they are glad you are there and happy to help. Compared to last year, the shop has expanded and they now offer shipping to the home.
6. Take advantage of the FedEx Shipping in the lower level of the Magnolia Market shop. Are your items too big? Don’t fret. You can have them boxed up and shipped straight to your doorstep. A quick word of advice, check their website for the items you are shipping. The warehouse’s shipping costs are probably lower than what you will pay Fed Ex. This happened to me with two wall sconces that we scored. I ordered them from the shop’s floor and they should arrive today as I type this. Super easy!
7. Next, go take a photo op under the #milestomagnolia sign outside the silo. Then tag yourself on Instagram and share how far you traveled. We traveled 1897 miles!
8. Time for a snack. Explore the food trucks and sit for a spell. The food trucks surround the perimeter of the property and serve up delicious food. Enjoy it on the picnic tables. Play a bit on the astro-turf field, swing and relax.
9. Before you head out, check out the Magnolia Seed and Supply Shop in the rear behind the silos. From Joanna’s quaint raised garden beds to fairy gardens in wash basins, it is a sweet and quiet spot. Her garden shop is exploding with inspiration, so be sure to take the time to explore.
10. Once you are ready to head out, be sure to check out their other favorite spots in town, including carpenter, Clint Harp’s storefront and studio as well as downtown Waco.
I didn’t plan on writing a blog post about our visit to the Magnolia Market and I was armed with only my iPhone, but my daughter insisted that we share our special day with you. We made wonderful memories and can’t wait to return. We even got to meet Joanna’s Mom as we gifted a copy of my book. It was a great day!