How Did Ree Drummond ‘The Pioneer Woman’ Become Famous?

Ree Drummond is a renowned cook known for her country-living persona and delicious recipes. She’s called ‘The Pioneer Woman’ and many people are familiar with her cooking show on the Food Network, where she showcases recipes from her ranch and introduces viewers to her down-to-earth family.

However, some fans might be wondering: Was Ree Drummond famous before having her own TV show? How exactly did she become the cooking star that we know her as today?

Ree Drummond did not grow up in the countryside

Despite her image today as a humble mother of four children living on a ranch, Ree Drummond shared that she was more of a city girl growing up. She was raised in suburban Bartlesville, Oklahoma, to reportedly very wealthy parents.

Drummond shared: “I was the archetypal town girl, firmly attached to all the wonderful conveniences of a suburban existence: landscaped lawns, manicures, pedicures, facials, take-out food… and lots of shopping. I had no idea any other kind of life existed.”

However, after falling in love with her husband Ladd, who came from a family of wealthy ranchers, she ditched her dream of moving to Chicago and settled down with him in Oklahoma. She calls herself an “accidental country girl.”

Ree Drummond started a food blog in 2006

In 2006, after having lived on the ranch for many years, Drummond started a blog called The Pioneer Woman, where she not only shares homecooked recipes but also talks about her country life with her family.

The first recipe she posted on to the site was an instruction on how to make steak. “Time to think about what’s for dinner this weekend,” she wrote. “How ’bout a nice, juicy steak? Don’t be intimidated; it’s one of the easiest things in the world to cook, and it’ll make your soul sing.”

The steak recipe was well-received by visitors, who then asked her to upload more food-related posts. Her blog grew over the course of a few years and she was reportedly getting over 13 million page views a month, earning her $1 million a year.

In 2009, Drummond capitalized on her blog’s popularity by releasing a cookbook. “It’s not overly polished or too serious. It’s a little weird,” she said. “It’s a reflection of this website and a collection of my very favorite recipes—some on the site, some never shared before—that I love to cook.”

Ree Drummond became more successful with her cooking show

Drummond eventually landed her own TV show on the Food Network called The Pioneer Woman — the same name as her blog. The show premiered in 2011 and allowed Drummond to become even more of a cooking star.

The show is currently in its 22nd season and Drummond reportedly makes somewhere between $8 million and $25 million per year. (The exact figure has not been disclosed.)

Over the years, she has released many more cookbooks, created her own food line at Walmart, and even had her own Barbie doll.

Ree Drummond and her husband have expanded their business

Drummond doesn’t just have her own various businesses, though. She and her husband Ladd also own a few places together.

The couple has a restaurant and retail store in Pawhuska, Oklahoma called The Mercantile. The menu here features recipes that Ree Drummond loves and the place is often quite packed with customers. The family also visits The Merc (as they like to call it) from time to time and Ree’s daughter Paige reportedly used to work there.

Additionally, the Drummonds recently opened an eight-room boutique hotel in 2018 called the Boarding House. Each room has a different theme, which is a charming touch, though it also came from Drummond and her husband disagreeing with each other during the design process.

All of these businesses mean that the couple has a very high net worth. Indeed, Drummond’s own personal net worth is reportedly $50 million while her husband’s net worth is $200 million.