It’s back! We know it’s been a while – a really long time, actually – but we finally have a new installment of the coffee tour. And it’s a good one!
(See more on our sister blog To Be Told)…
The moment we walked into the cafe, I felt welcome. And before I’d even made it up to the counter, I was greeted by Drew. Standing behind the register with a big smile on his face, he was friendly and quick to welcome us and ask what we’d like to order.
The menu here has a lot to offer, so it took more than a quick look to decide what to order.
By the time I had paid and introduced myself to owner Lorna Heid, our drinks were ready.
The design of the cafe definitely feels more like you’re in someone’s living room than in the middle of a busy office park. We had several different rooms to choose from, and made ourselves at home in a spacious room filled with comfy oversized chairs.
A Cafe with Heart
An extensive menu, a cozy space, and friendly staff: all marks of a nice cafe. But there’s something within the walls of this huge cafe that makes the space even better.
When Lorna Heid opened her shop just over a month ago, she did so out of love. Heid is a mom, and the proud owner of a charming coffee shop. And those two roles are not unrelated.
Heid’s daughter Emma, now 17, contracted meningitis shortly after birth, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. And as Emma grew up, like any mom, Lorna wanted to provide her daughter with every possible opportunity to allow her to live to her full potential and to have every opportunity in life she deserves.
She also began to understand the struggles for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to find employment and independence. Over time, all of those thoughts, facts and desires culminated in the birth of Independent Grounds Cafe, a cafe in Kennesaw, Georgia that employs individuals with IDD.
Heid currently has 14 adults and young adults with a variety of special needs on her staff, including her teenage daughter. Independent Grounds allows these adults to find their own independence, to make their own money, and to contribute to something bigger.
Setting an Example for Other Businesses
It’s no secret that Lorna loves what she does and is enthusiastic about providing a workplace that these individuals might not otherwise have. But another of her goals is to set an example for other local businesses.
According to the cafe’s website, “More than 75% of adults with IDD are unemployed.” Heid wants other businesses to see what is possible, and to consider the idea of expanding their own hiring practices.
Ribbon Cutting April 10
Following their initials weeks of soft opening and getting comfortable in their new roles, Independent Grounds Cafe, along with its fantastic team of talented and charming baristas, is set to hold their official Grand Opening next week. On April 10, they will celebrate from 10 – 12, with a ribbon cutting at 10:30. Check out their Facebook Event Page for more info.
Not Just a Good Idea, but Good Coffee as well!
Not only is the concept cool, but this place doesn’t skimp on their coffee. They get their beans from Rev Coffee Roasters, located just a few miles up the road in Smyrna. You can even pick up a bag of Emma’s Brew to take with you, a special blend prepared just for Independent Grounds.
A charming cafe and an inspiring story: if you are even remotely close to Kennesaw, you should definitely stop by Independent Grounds Cafe. And we dare you to walk out of there without a smile on your face!
Independent Grounds Cafe
3900 Legacy Park Boulevard
Kennesaw, Georgia 30144