RUMC Coffee House is a collaboration between Independent Grounds Cafe and Roswell United Methodist Church that recently opened in Roswell. The church was looking for a coffee shop to utilize a home they own in historic Roswell. After hearing of Lorna Heid's vision for merging a neighborhood coffee shop with the mission to also primarily hire adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), a partnership was formed.
“We are so excited to be opening this second location in Roswell,” said Heid, Owner of the new venture named RUMC Coffee House. “We are so grateful for the support of the RUMC community and are looking forward to showing everyone what we can do.”
More than just a local coffee shop, RUMC Coffee House is being operated by Independent Grounds Cafe, a coffee shop in Kennesaw, Georgia, that primarily hires adults with special needs. By showcasing their employee’s abilities, Heid hopes to offer real-life examples of what employment inclusion looks in a local business environment.
“For many of our employees, this is their first job opportunity,” said Heid. “So to see them grow in confidence and develop their skills -- that they can then take anywhere -- is such a profound honor.”
Adults with IDD are one of the most under-employed population of people who are able to work, want to work and yet struggle to find places that will take the chance on their employment. For Heid, who has a daughter who has a traumatic brain injury from meningitis at birth, this is a very personal business model that she hopes others will want to emulate.
“Our goal is to continue to expand and grow and be a resource for other families and communities who want to support a business model like ours,” Heid said. “There is an entire work force of adults with special needs who are ready and willing to work and make a huge impact on those around them. All they need is to be given a chance to shine.”
This mission is what attracted Roswell United Methodist Church to reach out to Heid to see if their space could be utilized in a similar manner.
“Everything just aligned for us to work together on this project,” said Heid. “The space is beautiful and the location is great. We can’t wait to show Roswell what we can do.”