58ºF

Into the Magnolia Market at the Silos: A review of Chip, Joanna Gaines' Waco experience

(John Steiger/KPRC2)
(John Steiger/KPRC2)

HOUSTONKPRC 2 Assignment Desk editor John Steiger recently took a spring break trip to Waco to visit Chip and Joanna Gaines' headquarters. Here's his review of the Magnolia Market at the Silos experience.

PHOTOS: Inside the Waco 'Fixer Upper' experience

My wife, Susanne, and I were looking for spring break ideas to share with our 8-year-old granddaughter Nayla, and being great fans of HGTV’s "Fixer Upper" with Chip and Joanna Gaines, we decided to drive to Waco to check out the Magnolia Market at the Silos. 

The weather was great, with the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes starting to sprout. We used the drive time -- just three hours northwest from Houston -- to listen to the Gaines’ first book, “The Magnolia Story.” We thought it was very interesting and amusing.  

I thought it would be crowded in Waco, but didn't expect what we found. Arriving around 12:30 p.m. on Monday, we found the traffic congested around the area. It took us about 30 minutes in traffic to find a parking space about a block from the Silos. The Live Oak Classical School charged $10 to park in its lot, which is about a block from the market.  

The first line we found went around the block, and it took about an hour or two to get into the bakery. I saw a lot of smiles on the faces of those partaking of the baked goods.

We passed up the bakery line, though, and headed into the grounds to check things out. We walked past the silos, and the food trucks, and found the end of the line for the actual market.

It only took about 30 minutes in line to enter the Magnolia Market, and once inside, it was very crowded and expensive. I was expecting to find a quaint shop with old interesting collectibles. I was so wrong.   All the merchandise was new and and out of my price range, and most had the Magnolia brand on it.  

I really don’t think they planned on the crowds they attracted. Other than port-a-potties, there was only one men’s and one women’s restroom. I waited about 20 minutes for the men’s room, and the wait time for the women’s room was three times that long. On the positive side, the restroom was clean. 

The complex had several food trucks that were very popular with the crowds. After about two hours, we were hungry and didn't want to eat from a food truck, so we hopped on the free shuttle to the Magnolia Tables, the Gaines' new restaurant.  

Once at the restaurant, we were turned away by a very polite police officer who said the restaurant was not taking any more names for the waiting list. We didn't know it closed at 3 p.m., so we went next door to the Health Camp (it’s not what the name implies) and had great cheeseburgers, fries, onion rings and shakes. I really recommend the place.  

Taking the free shuttle back to the market, we found the line to the bakery still long and decided to pass it up again. Honestly, I don’t see how such a small bakery keeps up with the demand. 

Our time in Waco was limited, and we only concentrated on the Silos. I would like to return someday to take in some of the other sights, such as the Dr. Pepper Museum, but NOT during spring break.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or position of KPRC.