by Jennifer Ruple

Ree Drummond’s cookbooks are available at “The Merc.”

The threat of heavy rain and damaging wind across the plains states couldn’t dampen our spirits and plan to visit The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, located in the small town of Pawhuska, Okla., about an hour northwest of Tulsa. The Food Network star, Ree Drummond, and her husband, Ladd, renovated the 100-year-old building and opened “The Merc,” a general store with a deli and bakery on the town’s Main Street.
The destination was just an extra 60 miles added to our already 1,500-mile road trip toward Santa Fe, N.M. So, why not? How often do my husband and I get an opportunity to hang out in Oklahoma?
Luckily for us, The Merc wasn’t too far from our overnight stop in Joplin, Mo. and we arrived on Friday morning just shortly after 9:30. The doors open daily at 7 am, except on Sundays.
There was no line to get in yet, and we managed to get a parking spot right in front of the place.
Inside the beautifully renovated general store, we found tables and tables full of kitchenware, home décor items, books, toys, and whimsical souvenirs. A boutique area included clothing, jewelry and accessories. There was even an assortment of flowy, peasant-style blouses just like the ones Ree wears on her show.

The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Okla. is filled with kitchenware, home decor, clothing and accessories. The building also houses a restaurant and a 2nd floor bakery.

After about 30 minutes of perusing and purchasing in the store, folks were starting to pile in and tables in the deli were quickly filling. We decided to forgo a full breakfast and headed up the large wooden staircase toward the bakery. Lining the stairs were giant, black and white photos of the Drummond kids, the ranch and their animals photographed by Ree.
Upstairs housed the bakery and a large open area with leather couches and bistro tables, a good spot to kick up your boots and sip a cup of coffee and enjoy a pastry. We opted to share a warm ham and cheese croissant and selected a strawberry cream cheese danish for the road.

Bakeware and cookware are on display at the general store.

Hoping to catch a glimpse of Ree and Ladd, who are known to pop in now and then, we took one last look around The Merc before heading out. No Ree or Ladd in sight, but we did see Ladd’s father, Charles, who was just hanging out and chatting with customers.

The bakery is a great place to relax with a book, coffee and a danish.

For those with a bit more time, tours of The Lodge on Drummond Ranch,
where Ree produces her cooking show, are offered. Tickets are free but only available at The Merc on tour days. Check for details.
Although our visit to The Merc and less than desirable spring weather delayed our arrival in Santa Fe for a few hours, it was worth the stop and a welcome respite from the pounding rain we would endure the rest of the day.
Now, which way to the Silos?