GA coffee shop brews up confidence in employees with special needs

- If anyone knows good coffee, it's the Good Day Atlanta team.  And we know there’s a lot more to brewing a perfect cup of coffee than just boiling some water and grinding some coffee beans.  But at one Kennesaw coffee shop, the secret ingredient isn’t so secret at all — you’ll find the key to success in the smiles of the men and women behind the counter.

Independent Grounds Cafe opened in Kennesaw earlier this year, and is a full-service coffee and treats cafe which primarily employs adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  Owner Lorna Heid says the inspiration behind the cafe is her own daughter, 17-year-old Emma, who suffered a traumatic brain injury at birth caused by meningitis.  Heid says, "I saw a bunch of viral videos on Facebook about different employers that were having jobs for individuals with special needs, and one was a coffee shop.  And I was like, oh, that sounds interesting, I think I could probably do that."  Emma is now one of the employees at Independent Grounds Cafe, and along with several other men and women with special needs, she serves up a full menu of hot and cold beverages along with muffins, Danish, cookies, and cakes.

Independent Grounds Cafe is located at 3900 Legacy Park Boulevard, Suite A100, in Kennesaw.  It’s open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and is closed on Sundays.

Good Day Atlanta’s Paul Milliken never turns down a chance to hang out at a coffee shop, so he spent the morning at Independent Grounds Cafe, learning more about the unique story behind it.

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