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Now Open, Kennesaw Coffee Shop Champions People With Special Needs

Independent Grounds Cafe employing people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Independent Grounds Cafe in Kennesaw
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

Independent Grounds Cafe has opened in Kennesaw’s Legacy Park just off of Jiles Road. The coffee shop, owned by resident Lorna Heid, primarily employs people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Heid was inspired to open the coffee cafe in her Kennesaw community by her daughter Emma, who suffers from the effects of a traumatic brain injury after contracting meningitis following 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 says on the cafe’s website. “I didn’t want to keep doing that and one way I can open doors for her is to show the community what she and all her peers can truly accomplish.”

Heid hopes the cafe will help people better understand the world of those living with special needs.

The menu consists of a variety of coffee and espresso-based drinks as well as grab-and-go pastries. Independent Grounds Cafe offers free wifi and sells merch, including t-shirts, travel mugs, and their own blend of coffee beans.


Open Monday - Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3900 Legacy Park Blvd, Suite A100, Kennesaw.