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'Pioneer Woman' Ree Drummond set to open her first pizza restaurant

TODAY logo TODAY 6/11/2018 Erica Chayes Wida
Ree Drummond, AKA The Pioneer WomanRee Drummond, AKA The Pioneer Woman © Alamy stock Ree Drummond, AKA The Pioneer WomanRee Drummond, AKA The Pioneer Woman

Ree Drummond has proven that you don't have to leave home to make it big — even if you're from a really, really small place.

At the center of a one-horse town in Oklahoma called Pawhuska, the Pioneer Woman and her husband, Ladd, have created an unlikely empire — and that empire will soon include a new pizza restaurant.

On Saturday, the Food Network star took to Instagram to share the news about her latest food venture, announcing that the new restaurant will likely open next week. She joked that now may not have been "the best time to take a break from carbs..."

Since Drummond's first brick-and-mortar business, the Pioneer Woman Mercantile, opened last fall, the town's tiny main street has been flooded with new business, reports People. And that was just be the beginning.

Drummond already has five best-selling cookbooks, a lifestyle magazine and even a line slow cookers. She is the beacon of bacon, butter and cream (the three ingredients she can't cook without) for those who crave a country-chic lifestyle.

Six years ago, Ree and her husband purchased the town's old mercantile and turned it into a stunning restaurant, bakery and marketplace. The 100-year-old space, known as "The Merc," is a 25,000-square-foot space where thousands of fans dine and shop every day. True to its small town roots, however, no meal is more than $20.

"I've always loved our small town and it just thrills me that the Mercantile is giving people a chance to see what it's all about," Drummond told People. "And Pawhuska doesn't exactly have a huge inventory of hotel rooms, so that's how the Boarding House came to be."

In April, Drummond unveiled her eight-room boutique hotel called The Boarding House, which is just down the street from the Merc.

"It really is a citywide effort to make things better," Drummond told People of the town's explosive recent growth. "It was kind of a ghost town, and all of a sudden it just went 'pop!' and these new stores opened up." Today, Drummond and her husband employ over 250 people at the Mercantile and Boarding House alone.

This summer, the Food Network star is going back to her tasty roots. In addition to P-Town Pizza, she'll be opening a reservations-only restaurant: P.W. Steakhouse and Saloon.

Erica Chayes Wida is a New York City-area based journalist obsessed with culture, poetry and international travel. Follow her work on Instagram and Contently.

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