Within minutes of arriving at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, a young woman with a cheerful smile and a gift for hospitality greeted us. Her name was Meg Kane. 

Meg Kane hands out cold bottles of water and umbrellas to people in line at The Mercantile.

How Meg Kane got her job

Meg’s job is to welcome visitors to The Merc and ensure they are as comfortable as possible while waiting in line (sometimes for hours) to taste Ree Drummond’s recipes.

It was obvious to us that Meg loved her summer job and that she was just the right person to welcome people to Pawhuska and make them forget how long they’d been waiting in that line for a chicken fried steak.

I asked her how she got this gig, suspecting she’d stopped by a job fair or applied online. Nope. Ree texted her. Turns out, Meg Kane is the daughter of Hyacinth Kane – who, if you’ve watched Food Network’s The Pioneer Woman at all, you know is Ree’s BFF.

“My family is good friends with the Drummonds and Ree just texted me and asked if I needed a job for the summer,” Meg said. “I told her, ‘sure.’ I could talk to people all day.”

And that’s exactly what she does.

We returned to The Merc our second day in Pawhuska to find Meg walking up and down the line of visitors, handing out icy cold popsicles and sidewalk chalk and answering questions.

We loved the sidewalk chalk that they handed out to people in line at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.

Her younger brother, Phillip, sometimes hangs out in the line with her, giving people complimentary bottled water or passing out umbrellas to help block the blazing Oklahoma sun. Can you believe the hospitality at this place? Who does this?

Meg’s brother Phillip sometimes hangs out with her as she tends to people in line at The Mercantile.

They also do what they can to keep people occupied and focused on something other than the homemade cinnamon rolls waiting for them inside.

The Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls which were absolutely drowning in frosting. Yum!

They lead Pioneer Woman trivia contests and play minute-to-win-it challenges with people who have traveled from near and far. And if you’re wondering if the winners get to advance in line, the answer is no.  Everyone’s a VIP here.

The line for lunch at the deli at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.

I was curious about the questions Meg gets asked each day and sure enough, she was kind enough to share them with us. Here are the nine questions she said she gets asked the most, along with her typical answers.

What people ask Meg Kane the most

Q: What’s this line for? (Meg says this is the #1 most-asked question, by far)

A: The line is for people waiting to be seated for a meal inside The Pioneer Woman Mercantile deli.

Steve visiting with Meg Kane while waiting in line at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.

Q: Is Ree here?

A: Depends on the day but she’s usually here every two or three days when she’s in town.

Q: How long is the wait?

A: The wait can be anywhere from a few minutes to four hours. We measure the length of the wait by looking at the lines in between buildings on the block. Sometimes when I tell people it might be three hours I’m shocked at how nice they are and how willing they are to wait. You’d think they’d be throwing a fit, but they don’t.

The Grab and Go menu at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile included slow braised beef pot roast and comfort meatballs.

[Note: The line seemed to move very quickly at the “grab and go” counter where you can purchase prepared hot or cold meals like Ree’s chicken spaghetti, a turkey sandwich, or her Asian beef salad.  Just before noon, we were able to get through the line with our “grab and go” purchases in about 10 minutes.]

Q: What’s that building across the street?

A: It’s called the Triangle Building and it has been around since 1913. During Osage County’s oil boom, it is said to have housed offices for as many as 180 lawyers.  It is currently under renovation.

The Triangle Building across the street from The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.

Q: What are your favorite items on the menu?

A: I love the queso dip and the chicken parm is amazing.  

The Pioneer Woman queso dip was amazing, especially with the charred cheese on top.

Q: Do they enforce the two-hour parking out front?

A: I probably shouldn’t say this, but not really.

We were so excited to snag a great parking spot right in front of The Pioneer Woman Mercantile. And there were no parking fees!

Q: Are you from Pawhuska?

A: Yes, I was born and raised in Pawhuska. In fact, I’m one of the very last babies born in the Pawhuska Hospital. There is still a hospital here, but they don’t deliver babies anymore.

Q: Where’s the bathroom?

A: There is one on the first floor of the Merc near the gift-wrap counter and one on the second floor near the bakery.

One of the beautifully decorated bathrooms at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.

Q: Is there a bar in town?

A: Yes, but don’t go in there wearing your Chacos.

Q: Is Bre here?

A: Do you even know where you are?

What’s next for Meg Kane

Meg told us at the end of the summer, she plans to return to the University of Oklahoma where she is studying to be a nurse. As for summer jobs, she was quick to say this has been her best job ever. 

“I used to work across the street at the Prairie Dog (a local hot dog shop),” Meg said. “It was a good job but my mom always went around town calling me the wiener girl.  I’d say, ‘really, mom?”

So, for now, Meg will keep answering questions, handing out water, and meeting new people from all over the world, who might never have come to Pawhuska, if not for The Pioneer Woman. “I meet the most incredible people in this line,” she said. “The people who are from here and the people who come here are just real genuine. “

And as far as we can tell, Meg is as genuine as they come.


Note: Thank you, Meg Kane, for taking the time to visit with us and for allowing us to publish your comments. YOU ROCK!

As always, thanks for sharing (and Pinning)!

 

  • Late breakfast, early lunch. Time got away from us this morning so we had a bit of a brunch. We have been on an oatmeal kick this year for several reasons. It's inexpensive, filling, tastes great, and is typically readily available at grocery stores and hotels that serve breakfast. ⁣
⁣
One cup of oatmeal cooked in water is about 160 calories (and a "green" food on our @noom weight loss app). We like to add a teaspoon of brown sugar, a little cinnamon, and lots of fresh berries. Other options are: bananas, nuts, nutmeg, diced apple, flax seed, or dried fruits. ⁣
⁣
What is your go-to breakfast these days?
  • See how we lost a combined 150 pounds in a year while traveling! It was one year ago this week that we began our healthy living journey. We are travel bloggers with a new post (just click on the handy dandy link in our bio) about what we've lost and gained in one year.
⁣
See what we've learned about calorie density, exercise and ourselves in the process. We are so thankful for the resources that have helped us, including @noom and the @mayoclinic Healthy Living Program. (This is NOT a paid partnership) We feel like new people and hope our story will encourage someone else who wants to make a healthy lifestyle change. To stay up to date with our weight loss and healthy living journey, be sure to follow @PostcardJar on social media.
  • Our daffodils are in full bloom here in Nebraska and they just make us smile. We brought the  bulbs for these flowers from Ann's first house when we got married and moved here. Ann had dug them up from her grandma Rashleigh's home in Fremont, Nebraska, and her grandma had brought them to the U.S. from a trip that she took to England. ⁣
⁣
Ann's grandma passed away several years ago. Each spring, these flowers bloom and remind Ann of her grandma and her beautiful soul.
  • We love to travel but we're staying home to flatten the curve. As travel bloggers, writers, and influencers, we all have canceled trips, postponed adventures, and rescheduled experiences. ⁣
⁣
We know this is temporary and soon enough, we'll be traveling again. But for now, we are all staying safe at home and encourage you to do the same. And while you’re home, check out some of these influencers’ feeds for travel inspiration.
  • Last week, we had the pleasure of making handmade pasta (via the internet) with our friends, Deb and Massi, who were in their home kitchen in Italy. ⁣
⁣
You can read all about it, and get the recipe, on our blog. Yep, you guessed it, the link is in our bio. ⁣
⁣
We met Deb and Massi of @italyunfiltered a few years ago when they created an amazing food and wine itinerary for us. We've remained friends and it was so good to see them, even if they were a world away.
  • We were supposed to be in Rochester, Minnesota, this week for Ann to see a cardiac sarcoidosis specialist about some recent issues with her heart. Of course, we did not travel to Rochester for her scans and doctor visits because of the coronavirus outbreak.⁣
⁣
Instead, her cardiologists called her from their homes and her scans and tests will likely be delayed until June or July. We'll keep in close touch with them if anything changes, as well. We are so grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are continuing to work crazy hours from home as well as in our hospitals around the world.⁣
⁣
This is such an unprecedented and stressful time for all of them. Words will never be enough to convey our gratitude for the roles they are playing in the battle against this deadly virus while caring for those with other diseases and illnesses at the same time. ⁣
⁣
Every healthcare provider we've talked with in the last two weeks has had the same message for those of us who don't have to go to work at a hospital. ⁣
⁣
Just. Stay. Home.
  • Yesterday was Day 16 of social isolation for us. Because of Ann's underlying heart condition and suppressed immune system, we've cooked all our meals at home (no takeout). We've starting to get more and more creative as time has gone by. ⁣
⁣
Last night, we made chicken and shrimp vindaloo and learned online how to make homemade naan.⁣
⁣
It wan't as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, The Oven, but it did satisfy the craving we've had for Indian food. ⁣
⁣
What are you craving these days?
  • We moved our living room furniture around this week and put two swivel chairs near the sliding glass door. Each day, we take time to turn around, rest our minds, enjoy in the view, and just be. #webelieveinhome

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska