Ree Drummond, also known as “The Pioneer Woman” thanks to her Food Network cooking show, cookbooks, and blog, is a perfect example of someone who’s no longer just a person, but a brand. The smiley Oklahoma native is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, but she got her start running her blog, The Pioneer Woman, which chronicles her life as a wife, mother, and cook on a working Oklahoma ranch, which is still insanely popular. Even if you’re a loyal reader and viewer of her cooking show, we bet there’s a lot you didn’t know about Drummond. Here are five facts.
She Majored in Gerontology
Drummond attended the University of Southern California, starting as a journalism major before switching to gerontology, the study of aging.
She Was a Blogging Pioneer, Too
Drummond launched her blog, which was originally titled Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, back in May 2006, in the “Wild West” days of blogging. She actually didn’t post her first recipe, on how to cook a steak, until about a year after her blog launched.
Her Blog Racks Up an Insane Number of Page Views
Although current numbers are unavailable, by 2011 it was racking up 23.3 million page views per month and 4.4 million unique visitors, comparable with The Daily Beast. It’s estimated that she’s earning more than one million dollars per year just from display advertisements on her blog alone.
Her First Television Appearance Was Alongside Bobby Flay
Drummond first appeared on Food Network as a challenger to Flay on Throwdown! With Bobby Flay in a 2010 Thanksgiving-themed episode. Drummond beat Flay.
She Also Runs a Restaurant and Store
Along with her husband Ladd, Drummond also runs a restaurant and retail store called The Mercantile in downtown Pawhuska, Oklahoma. It opened in 2016 after a four-year buildout.