In 2003, we evaluated an opportunity to open an Abbadabba’s in the “far away suburb” of Kennesaw. We felt the area would respond well to our vision for comfort, healthy footwear. But we were not at all sure the level of business would be there to justify a “full blown Abbadabba’s.” So, we undertook an experiment: to create a small Abbadabba’s, showing a subset of our products, and see what kind of response we would get.
Why Kennesaw? This is a very interesting area… associated with urban Atlanta to the far South, but not a suburb in a classical sense. We knew we had a solid base of customers from the area driving all the way to our Buckhead and Roswell stores to get their Abbadabba’s on. We knew we had a lot of customers from the variety of people involved with KSU. And we knew that Atlanta seemed to be steadfast in marching North with its suburban sprawl. So, we undertook our experiment with a small, 2100 square foot operation directly in the shadow of the area’s major mall.
Well, our experiment failed. We quickly discovered that the Kennesaw area responded well to our presence, but they wanted all of what they had come to expect from an Abbadabba’s. We promptly began expanding and by 2011 we were up to a “full size” store for our customers, at 3700 square feet.
During our years here, we’ve found a lot that makes Kennesaw an interesting, fun place to live and work. The area was known for railroad history long before the city itself was founded in 1887. The Great Locomotive Chase of April 12, 1862, was staged right here - the only one of its kind during the Civil War. The event has been romanticized in the movies twice. Buster Keaton’s “The General” in 1926 is now considered one of the greatest movies ever made. Disney’s version in 1956 starred Fess Parker (aka Davy Crockett) and the real General locomotive, which is still on display at The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History here in Kennesaw.
The beautiful Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park has many hiking trails and park amenities. Their brochure presents the role of Kennesaw in the 1964 Atlanta campaign and a detailed history of Cobb county.
Modern day Kennesaw has earned national accolades, including Family Circle’s “10 best towns for families (2007) and Newsmax’ “Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns” (2009 - we were number 25.) The city also gained national publicity in 1982 when an ordinance passed requiring every head of household in the city limits to maintain a firearm and ammunition, with some exceptions.
We have found our customers in Kennesaw to be fans of Birkenstock and Chaco, similar to our other stores. Toms are also very popular. Ladies in Kennesaw have been very receptive to our Vionic shoes as well.