Magnolia Market Opens to Fanfare, Vistors from Across Country
Today, magnolia market opens its doors to the public, after nearly a year planning and construction and more than a million-and-a-half dollars in renovation. Its owners – Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the show “Fixer Upper” – say that on opening weekend, they’re expecting anywhere from 5 to 8 thousand people from across the country to flock to Waco to visit the former cottonseed mill now turned artisan marketplace.
As you walk into Magnolia Market, two towering, 120-foot tall Silos greet you. They’re remnants from when the roughly 2-and-a-half acre site was a cottonseed mill. Maintaining that rustic feel of the area was important, says Joanna Gaines, because it upheld the heritage of the site. It’s also part of the so-called “shabby chic” approach to interior design that’s made “Fixer Upper” so wildly popular.
“I love the blend of the industrial," Gaines said. "There are a lot of things, you know, like these columns I didn’t change. I really wanted to keep the history of this building. So there’s a good blend of industrial, but also with all the reclaimed pinewood floors, all the other elements that we added, I really wanted this to feel like this is how it felt all along.”
The store itself is a 4,000-square-foot space; filled with items Gaines handpicked herself, from decorative leather books that go for about 8 dollars to antique wire baskets that run about 30 dollars. But Gaines says her and her husband Chip wanted the area to be more than just a store where you buy a candle. Outside the market’s doors, is an expansive yard where local food trucks have lined up, and under the shadow of the silos, is a stage fit for concerts. There’s also an on-site garden – currently filled with wintergreens – that’s run by the local group World hunger Relief.
With all of it’s attractions, says Tate Christensen, of the Waco chamber of commerce, Magnolia Market will help spur both business and economic growth in the area.
"It’s going to attract more and more industry, more and more people to Waco," Christensen says. "The sky’s the limit and I’m excited, I really am. This is just a great addition to the story."
In the coming months, several businesses – including the Balcones Distillery - will move in the area as well. Gains says excited that Magnolia Market and other businesses in the area are bringing life into an area of downtown that’s been underdeveloped.
“So I think with this, you park, you walk, you go to your destination," Gains says. "That’s kind of how downtowns feel. Hopefully, with us being here we can really help the growth of other businesses as well.”
Organizers are expecting 2,500 hundred visitors each night this weekend – with some people coming from as far as Florida just to attend the sold-out grand opening event.