HAPPILY HOME – The Hillbilly Debutante Mercantile and Pie Shoppe, located at 101 North Main, El Dorado Springs, MO, is Kathie Truitt’s dream come true. She’s in the place she loves the best – El Dorado Springs, in a building with big glass windows with a view of the “most beautiful Park in the world.”
Getting back to El Dorado Springs for Kathie and her husband, Jay, has been a long journey. They were in England for four years before returning to Missouri and then taking off for Washington D.C. where Jay was a lobbyist for the food and agriculture industry. It was at a White House Christmas party in 2006 that she received the wonderful title of Hillbilly Debutante. She recalls, “I was standing in the corner watching the people at this marvelous party when a gentleman approached me, said he liked my dress and that I must be a debutante. Her reply was ‘Oh, no, I’m from the Ozarks and people there would never have anything like this.” He said, ’Then you must be a Hillbilly Debutante.’”
It was many years before the Hillbilly Debutante actually appeared in El Dorado Springs in the form of Kathie’s second book “The Hillbilly Debutante Café.”
Her first book, “False Victim,” was also a product of her stay in Washington D.C. It is her accounting of a horrifying four years with a manipulating neighbor who tried to send her to jail. That unfortunate experience changed the trajectory of her life and set her feet on the path of a novelist. In 2018 The Hillbilly Debutante Café was published and was a 2022 Screencraft Finalist.
The Hillbilly Debutante Café is actually set in the building where the Hillbilly Debutante Mercantile and Pie Shoppe is now. A second book, “Murder in the Mercantile” will hopefully be released this year.
But before finally arriving in El Dorado Springs for good, they were in Dallas and Puerto Rico, before the call of home was impossible not to answer.
Kathie loves the sense of community in El Dorado Springs. Other businesses have stepped up to help her with supplies and answered many of her questions. There has been a steady stream of visitors and pie eaters at the Mercantile since she opened on Wednesday, May 4.
She’s open from Wednesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. She’s thinking of a few extra things she might want to do, but for now she says, “Just come in and have some fun.”