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Meet Lorna Heid of Independent Grounds Cafe in Kennesaw

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lorna Heid.

Inspired by a growing spotlight on employers championing the abilities of adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), Lorna Heid decided to do the same in the Kennesaw community.

More than 75 percent of adults with IDD are unemployed. Many find themselves unable to fully showcase their abilities. For inspiration, Heid had to look no further than her own daughter, Emma, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after contacting meningitis at birth.

“As a parent, you spend years dreaming about what your child can accomplish, but as a parent of a special needs child you often find yourself having to temper those dreams,” Heid said. “I didn’t want to keep doing that with Emma. I realized one way I can open doors for her is to show the community what she and all her peers can truly accomplish.”

With a passion for her daughter, for coffee and the community, Independent Grounds Cafe was formed.

“Our goal is to put a smile on your face and give you an amazing cup of coffee,” Heid said. “We want you to feel at home here, to get to know our team and maybe inspire you to think differently about the world of special needs.”

Has it been a smooth road?
Like any new business, we’ve had hits and misses. We continue to strive to get people in the door on a regular basis. Finding the right blend of product and marketing magic is something we look at daily. We want to be that great neighborhood coffee shop that you return to again and again.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Independent Grounds Cafe – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are an independent, neighborhood coffee shop that also primary employs adults with special needs. Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are one of the most under-employed population in the workforce. They want to work but often can’t find meaningful employment. Our goal is to shine a spotlight on their abilities and provide an example of what employment inclusion looks like – one great cup of coffee or latte at a time.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Kennesaw is a thriving suburb with a university and diverse workforce. Like much of the greater Atlanta area, traffic can be an issue. So we offer curbside service for those in a rush.

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Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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