Ree Drummond's Oklahoma Restaurant Gets 6,000 Visitors Per Day — in a Town of Only 3,500
The Food Network star—better known as the Pioneer Woman—recently told Spurdge that the Pawhuska, Oklahoma storefront averages 6,000 customers per day, with as many as 15,000 on occasion. In a town with a population of only 3,500 people, Drummond’s fans are coming from far and wide to visit “the Merc”.
“This is our home, and anything we do here we want it to benefit Pawhuska,” she says. “We also believe in ‘the Merc’ itself as a concept, because it has a little bit of everything for everybody.”
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Inside the 25,000 square foot property is two coffee bars (Drummond’s daughter Paige serves as a barista) with coffee from Topeca Roastery, a deli with ready-to-eat meals, a bakery, and a general store that sells goods with Drummond’s small-town aesthetic in mind. Though the home cook and her husband Ladd told PEOPLE they “didn’t have a huge plan for it” when they bought the 100-year-old building in 2012, it’s turned into a vacation destination for her fans, who often line up around the block to get in.
But being more than 100 miles from Oklahoma City, Drummond definitely felt the pressure to impress her visitors. “Whenever I put a recipe on my show or in my cookbook I want it to be absolutely wonderful,” she said. “When I envision putting a plate of my food in front of a customer or guest, it really takes it to a whole other level because I want them to feel like their trip here was worth it.”