JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin Empire Market allowed a sneak peak of its new commercial kitchen today.

The kitchen will serve as a rental space for aspiring chefs, and allow vendors to easily sell prepared foods.

The market’s meal program for kids, which was established three years ago, will also expand.

“So we’re hoping to grow our free kids meal program. Currently it’s about 45 to 50 sack lunches cold sack lunches that we give out every Saturday. But with this new kitchen will potentially be able to make hot lunches or even just expand the amount of meals that we’re currently preparing,” said Lindsay Gagnon, Empire Market Director.

The tentative date for the grand opening for the kitchen is later this fall.