This Woman’s Cookie Bakery Helps Others Reach Their Potential

She grew her passion for baking into a mission.

Feb 24, 2022
This Woman’s Cookie Bakery Helps Others Reach Their Potential | She grew her passion for baking into a mission.

Collette Divitto, 31, was born with Down Syndrome but she is far from disabled. This woman channeled her passion for baking into a cookie business with a global mission to change the world, one cookie at a time.

Her cookie business is thriving and creating jobs for people with all types of abilities but she didn’t plan on being a business owner, according to PEOPLE. Divitto opened Collettey’s Cookies after she graduated from college and couldn’t find a job.

She told PEOPLE that she opened the bakery after receiving numerous job interview rejections, often being told she was not “a good fit” for the company.

“It was sad and it was hard,” she said. “To me, it felt like they didn't like me at all because of who I am. No one would hire me so I decided to open my own business.”

Her company that is based in Boston, Massachusetts and founded in 2016, is now thriving and sends thousands of cookies and dog treats to people and companies across the US, reported CBS News. Collettey's Cookies now has 15 employees.

The path to success wasn’t easy
Divitto’s mother Rosemary Alfredo didn’t raise her daughter to think of herself as different from her peers, she told PEOPLE. “I never felt the need to tell her she's different. To me, it was just a label and we all have strengths and weaknesses,” Alfredo said.

But this changed when Divitto was in the fourth grade and she was bullied by a boy in her class who started calling her “Down Syndrome”.  Her mother had to have a conversation with her about what it meant and from then on, Divitto worked hard to be fully accepted at school.

After going through a difficult period in high school with few friends or a social life, Divitto went to South Carolina’s Clemson University’s LIFE program and that changed her life.

“She was going to a regular college, she was going to football games," her mom said. "Anything that anybody her age was doing, that world she was stepping into.”

In fact, Divitto graduated a year early and made her way to Boston determined to find employment and live on her own. When that failed, this determined woman decided to open her own company and the rest is cookie history.

Changing the World One Cookie at a Time
Divitto is not resting on her laurels. A big part of her company’s mission is to help people with disabilities find jobs, reported CBS News.

And, If that weren’t enough, she is also the author of two children’s books and she was featured on the documentary Born for Business, about entrepreneurs with disabilities. Divitto also runs a nonprofit organization, Collettey's Leadership Org.

Speaking to audiences of hundreds of thousands of people, according to her website, Divitto uses this platform to create change in the way the non-disabled view people with disabilities.

She wants people to start seeing abilities instead and to employ the 82 percent of the people with disabilities who are capable of working but cannot find jobs; especially those who have completed culinary training programs. With her drive and vision, Divitto is sure to be a success.

This Bakery Changes Lives for Those With Disabilities
First Person with Down Syndrome Completes an Ironman Triathlon
Is Eleonore Laloux About To Change The Course of History?


Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.