JOPLIN, Mo. — Services will soon expand at the Joplin Empire Market where work is already underway to add a commercial kitchen.

Construction crews are remodeling a space near the main entrance to give the market new food options.

While some limited choices have been available, the new kitchen will help both expand current projects and create new ones. That’s everything from offering more free kids meals to offering onsite cooking classes.

“That has been a goal since day one, to be a food-centric market. You really need to have a commercial kitchen, you know, it allows our vendors to be able to expand what they can do with their products. It allows aspiring foodies and chefs to be able to experiment with what they’re doing. One of the things that’s so cool about the market is that they get immediate feedback from people,” said Lori Haun, Downtown Joplin Alliance.

A grant helped to jumpstart the project, but the Downtown Joplin Alliance is fundraising the remaining $100,000 goal.