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‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond Was ‘Mocked and Ridiculed’ for Business Choices



Ree Drummond is known as The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network, and she’s made a name for herself thanks to her incredible cooking and country brand. Drummond helped build Pawhuska, Oklahoma, with the Mercantile and other businesses. Unfortunately, her friends didn’t always believe in her products. Here’s what she shared.

Does ‘The Pioneer Woman’ still own the Mercantile?

As of 2023, Ree Drummond still owns the Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. The Pioneer Woman star initially envisioned the Mercantile containing a casual, deli-style eatery, but it’s since grown into a massive restaurant and bakery.

“When we opened, our concept for the restaurant was that it would be more of a casual, deli-style place, where people could pick up items and go,” she shared with Tulsa World. “That’s why we had this whole wall of deli cases in the restaurant area. But we quickly learned that people — especially those who had taken all the time and effort to travel to Pawhuska — wanted to order and sit down and take the time to enjoy their meal.”

Additionally, Drummond has retail space within the building and The Pioneer Woman Collection store nearby. P-Town Pizza and Charlie’s Sweet Shop, her other two businesses in Pawhuska, continue to draw in Food Network fans nationwide.

Ree Drummond said she was ‘mocked and ridiculed’ by friends for some of her product choices

The Pioneer Woman star wasn’t sure how successful the Mercantile would be when she started it with her husband. And some of her friends didn’t believe in the products she wanted to sell. Her blog explains how the Merc sells Drummond’s hand-picked clothing, home goods, kitchenware, and jewelry. But her friends didn’t like some of her findings, like her Marie Antoinette Salt and Pepper shakers. Ultimately, fans adored Drummond’s products, as she couldn’t keep them in stock.

“I was mocked and ridiculed by my friends at first, and I feel so vindicated!” Drummond shared.


Drummond also posted some of her favorite products from her shop to her blog. In 2021, her favorites included a cast-iron skillet in the shape of Oklahoma, a baseball cap with “Drummond Ranch” printed across the front, Mercantile soaps, and The Pioneer Woman plastic wrap dispensers.

Ree Drummond calls the Mercantile a ‘labor of love’

Running the Mercantile hasn’t been easy for Ree Drummond. The Pioneer Woman star spoke to People about building up Pawhuska, Oklahoma, with her husband, Ladd Drummond.

“I’d never been here,” she explained. “So, that’s always kind of a source of chuckling for me that my husband and I grew up so geographically close together but really in two different worlds. … People make assumptions about small-town America. “We all look the same and think the same and vote the same. We have quite a bit of diversity in this town, economic and cultural.”

As for the Mercantile, Drummond called it “a real labor of love.” She then explained that she and her husband make the perfect match, as he excels at “spatial reasoning” whereas she brings color and “sparkle” to the space.

The Pioneer Woman fans can look forward to seeing what else Ree and Ladd Drummond do in Pawhuska moving forward.

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Source: Cheat Sheet

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