I was thrilled to attend the opening day of a fresh new business in Joplin. The Empire Market, located at 931 E 4th Street, celebrates all things locally grown and made. Housed in a repurposed historical building, Empire Market provides a space for regional growers, artists and artisans to offer their produce and wares.
I love seeing an old building rehabbed and used in a new way. This full brick warehouse style building was built in 1907 and originally housed The Joplin Casket Company. Empire Electric Company took it over in 1916. They graciously donated the building to the Downtown Joplin Alliance in 2016, who came up with the idea of creating a four season market.
The Downtown Joplin Alliance has this vision for the market posted on their website:
The Empire Market will be an economic and community centerpiece that strengthens and engages the entire city. A vibrant four-season market where you can find the best of what this area has to offer; produce, meats, cheeses, wine, beer, crafters, artisans and any number of other vendors, set up in a collection of permanent and rotating stalls. In conjunction with that, we will become a basecamp for entrepreneurs and makers of all types. This will be the place to find affordable workspaces, meaningful resources, and a diverse community of passionate individuals who are focused on creating long-lasting, impactful businesses for Joplin. This is truly a game changer for the next generation of entrepreneurs and creatives in Joplin.
I love that grand vision!
Opening day appeared to be a huge success, judging by the filled parking lot and the number of people inside the market. It was a lively, friendly atmosphere that greeted me as I entered the wide door.
I was at Empire Market an hour after the doors opened and some vendors were already sold out or low on product. That’s a good sign! The market features a variety of booths with a wide assortment of products including farm raised meat and eggs, crafts, art, clothing, vegetable and herb plants, coffees, sauces and salts, and bakeries featuring traditional goodies, cute iced cookies and health conscious gluten free treats without added sugar. Fresh produce will be available in the Market beginning in May.
Today, the Mayor of Joplin was present at the opening, giving an official proclamation. Young trees were being given away by the Missouri Department of Conservation and live music was offered. I enjoyed the energy within the space and look forward to the inclusion of produce in the near future.
Empire Market invites Joplin to “grow with us!” I’m excited to watch them grow and be a part of that growth.