It's been just over a year since the grand opening of Magnolia Market in Waco, an ample amount of time to let the craziness settle down before dragging myself to visit (or so I thought.)
My mom, sister and I packed our purses, grabbed our booties and made a pit stop at Starbucks before making the long trek to good ol' Wacotown this past Saturday. The sky was a disheartening shade of gray but our caffeine-induced excitement kept us hopeful on the way to the market.
The thing I love MOST about Waco -- and let's be real, it's a short list which includes Spice Village and Common Grounds -- is the parking. It's a rare thing to come across free parking in Austin and the free parking that can be found just a few blocks outside of the perimeter of Magnolia Market is a definite blessing.
We visited Silos Baking Co. upon our arrival, since the line was out the door and around the corner. As awful as the wait looked, however, the line moved relatively quickly and the workers like a well-oiled machine. We received an ordering card where we could check off the pastries we were going to be purchase as we weaved our way to the register. They bake everything from cupcakes to "biscuits", which were definitely my personal favorite. As much as I loved my mom's peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, my sister's orange cranberry biscuit was the star of the show. Silo Baking Co. offers a darling little seating area outside, but plenty of visitors bought pastries to eat while walking around the grounds or home in a Silo Baking Co. to-go box.
In typical tourist fashion, we visited the main attraction next -- the marketplace itself.
What ensued upon entering was something I couldn't have possibly prepared myself for that morning. There were hundreds upon hundreds of people crammed into the stuffy marketplace, where Christmas music was playing and people were unappreciative of my personal space bubble. Don't get me wrong, there are some CUTE trinkets to be purchased (if you're into spending $26 on a candle), but claustrophobia is a real thing for me and I definitely felt like we were playing a giant game of sardines in a can. The most striking thing about the store is the immaculate product displays and extreme attention to detail that Joanna is known for possessing. For a store that sees hundreds, maybe thousands, of people each day, everything was in its place.
I skipped the overpriced candles and settled for a small cream colored vase for my bathroom sink, as well as a fake flower because let's be real, my bank account can't keep up with my Central Market flower habit.
It may not look like it from the corner of the bakery, but the grounds of Magnolia Market is pretty expansive once you walk in a bit further. The green, where children can play with soccer balls and footballs kept neatly to the side in a giant bin, was far larger than I anticipated. This seemed to be a hub for families visiting, as women's kiddos (and hubbies) could relax and get out of the cramped marketplace as needed. The common area off to the side of the green had large wooden porch swings, individual swings and picnic tables.
We were lucky enough to be visiting on a day where they were having a large outdoor sale. The canopy was filled with mostly graphic t-shirts and various home products, but offered a nice alternative for people wanting to snag a souvenir and get the most bang for their buck.
Food trucks line the back of Magnolia Marketplace and include things like Common Grounds, Cheddar Box and Co-Town Crepes. Lines are long but the grub is worth it, especially if you're planning on making your trip an all-day affair.
Possibly my favorite part about the entire market was Magnolia Seed and Supply. The garden is complete with string lights and miniature gardens (like I said, the attention to detail.) It was so sweet being there with my little sister, because she used to have her very own "fairy garden" in our backyard as a kid, and I would leave notes for her to wake up to from the fairies. Talk about nostalgia!
Overall, it was a successful trip to Magnolia Market. While I tend to turn my brow up at all things touristy, sometimes it's nice to be a part of something like this while surrounded by people who are more than a little excited about it. The experience is worth it if you're willing to drive. Then again, the journey is just as important as the destination.
See my full photo story on the Austin Woman website!