I have great memories of sitting on the couch in the living room with my mom watching the latest episode of Fixer Upper. We would watch the beautiful transformations where husband and wife duo, Chip and Joanna, would turn a run-down, dated house into a special forever home. It was not just Joanna’s cozy, modern farmhouse design aesthetic or Chip’s sense of humor that made this show so appealing to us. There has always been an authenticity to their message and concepts of family and home.
When they opened the Magnolia Market at the Silos in their hometown of Waco, TX, I immediately added the experience to my bucket list. I would have the chance to shop the store, walk the grounds, and of course – sample the delicious baked goods. Since being in Houston these last several months, I have had the opportunity to road trip and explore more of Texas. Waco was top of that list for me.
Our plan for the day was admittedly a bit ambitious in that we would travel up to Waco for most of the day and then in the later afternoon make our way down to San Antonio for an overnight stay. In hindsight I wish we would have had more time to explore the town but even still our day in Waco was entirely perfect and full of special memories.
We arrived in the late morning on a beautiful Texas day and there is no missing the very large and impressive silos that mark the marketplace’s location in the center of town.
Our first stop was, true to form, the sweet bakery, Silos Baking Co. where the line was wrapped around the small building. I was happy to wait and we were greeted by a cheerful employee outside the door who provided us with a small printed menu and pencil where we could mark our order down to expedite the process as we got to the front of the line. The inside of the bakery was as charming and heavenly smelling as I imagined, although because of the long lines it was difficult to linger on a busy Saturday morning. We enjoyed our sweet treats at a table on the patio adjacent to the bakery surrounded by a bustling but pleasant crowd. We took our time sampling the desserts and the stand outs for me were definitely the Nuts & Bolts cupcake and nutty cinnamon roll.
We continued our visit by walking around and taking in the atmosphere and sense of community in the space. There were many intentional details in the design that helped shape a positive experience for visitors. Such as water stations, bean-bag style pillows to lay out on the lawn, plenty of food trucks and a lot of open seating all around the grounds. The Silos were definitely the focal point of the space.
My time in Waco would not have been complete without a trip to the market (we even made it over to the Little Shop on Bosque which was the original home of Magnolia Market). I took my time exploring all of the home good items and shop displays which were just being switched over for the spring season. I walked out with a sweet rust colored notebook and a cherry tomato tea towel.
Next, we took a free shuttle offered from the Silos and took a quick tour of the center of town. We stopped and walked the quiet streets and came upon a fantastic book shop called, Fabled Book Shop. My favorite room was the children’s section which had a great selection of both classics and new stories. It also had a small cafe in the front of the store which is one of my favorite combinations in a small bookstore.
Our time in Waco ended with a quick first time trip to In-N-Out. Even though we weren’t able to get seating at Magnolia Table this time, give me animal style fries and I am a happy girl.
Lessons from Magnolia Market
One of the things I appreciate the most about the Gaines’ vision for their brand is their emphasis on home, family, and a life well loved. The way they bring together community by sharing space with the public at the Silos is very inspiring. It shows the power creatives have in shaping the world through, sometimes small, but intentional action. Whether it is creating space for people to gather or making products that will become part of a home, the work has impact. On their website you will find many inspired “manifestos” which articulate the mission and purpose of Magnolia but this one stood out to me:
Of all heroic pursuits large or small, we believe there may be none greater than a life well loved.-MAGNOLIA MANIFESTO
My trip to Waco and experiences like it make me treasure the slow but purposeful way I get to experience life. Spending a few hours living moments in a new space, meeting new people, and having a mini adventure is an excellent way to refresh my inspiration and recharge that creative spark.