‘Opportunity To Show What They Can Do’: Employees With Disabilities Thrive At Local Coffee Shop

Lorna Heid opened the local coffee shop in part for her daughter, but she also wanted to give other Americans with disabilities an opportunity to thrive as independent adults.

Lisa Rayam / WABE

Lorna Heid says her dream is to fill a void that is left wide open in Georgia’s job market.

At a coffee shop in Roswell, all the baristas have mental disabilities. It’s the second shop to open in the metro area in recent months.

Both are owned by Heid.

Independent Grounds Cafe
Lorna Heid, right, the owner of the shop, wants to give Brian, left, and other employees an opportunity to work, thrive and be more independent. (Lisa Rayam/WABE)

“Morning Edition” host Lisa Rayam met up with Heid recently at the Independent Grounds Cafe. Fulton County reports close to 50,000 adults ages 18 to 64 make up the disabled population.

Of those, around 32% are currently employed.

The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities vows on its website that it is constantly working with policymakers on ways to gain more independence for people with disabilities.