Mend Coffee & Goods aims to create an accessible community space for people with disabilities

The coffee shop replaces Marcello’s in the Tuxedo Festival shopping center

Jay and Katherine Wolf

Courtesy of Kevin Collins

In 2007, Jay and Katherine Wolf were just starting their adult lives—he in law, and she in entertainment. Katherine gave birth to their first son and then six months later, out of nowhere, she suffered a catastrophic stroke. After a 16-hour surgery, 40 days in the ICU, a year in rehab, and 10 more operations, both her and Jay’s worlds were irrevocably changed.

They started a nonprofit called Hope Heals and authored several books about living with disability. Katherine is now a public speaker, and the Wolfs host week-long camps for families with disabilities. Come October, they’ll have a new venture: a cozy, welcoming space for the inter-ability community to convene, work, and socialize, called Mend Coffee & Goods. Located in the former Marcello’s Trattoria near the intersection of Roswell and Piedmont roads (3655 Roswell Road Northeast), Mend is intended to bring the same ethos of Hope Heals camps to Buckhead.

“Coffee is something we’ve loved dearly since having our first child,” Jay says. “This will be a design-forward space that caters to people with disabilities.”

Mend will serve Opo coffee drinks—think espresso, drip, nitro, cold brew lattes—and kombucha on tap, plus breakfast and pastries. Expect overnight oats and egg bites made in house, plus potential treats from Five Daughters and the Buttery. It’ll be staffed by disabled employees paired with volunteers.

“We all need each other—it requires a village to do life and work,” Jay says.

He’s working with eight consultants to ensure the 2,500-square-foot space is fully accessible. This includes lower tables and counters, a double-size bathroom with an adult changing table, muted colors and lighting (ideal for people on the autism spectrum), and sound-muffling technology that allows people with auditory impairments to engage across the coffee table. A soft, cushy, sensory room and a sound-proof space that doubles as a meeting room will be available for those who get overstimulated. “We hope these details will be an open-source guidebook for other businesses,” Jay says.

In the evenings, the shop will be used for community activations by Hope Heals and other likeminded nonprofits. It can also be rented out. “As [disabled] children age out of government programming and schooling, their circle of network diminishes,” Katherine explains. “It’s a tragedy. We want to be a place for people to make friends, have book clubs, be known and loved and belong.”

About a quarter of the space will be dedicated to merchandise, including items currently sold on the Hope Heals website.

“We all have struggle. We all have invisible wheelchairs that can connect us to each other,” Jay says. “We’re hoping this coffee shop will help people encounter the story of disability in a way they don’t usually.”

Mend is slated to open by October 1.