Woman with Down Syndrome Grows Her Baking Hobby Into a Full-Fledged Business

Collette Divitto is on a mission to change the world — one cookie at a time. When Divitto was just 26, she transformed her baking hobby into a cookie business called Collettey’s. Completely inexperienced as a business owner at the time, Divitto, who was born with Down syndrome, said she made the bold move after receiving a number of job interview rejections, often with the critique that she wasn't "a good fit" for their company. "It was sad and it was hard," says Divitto, now 30. "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.” Based in Boston, Collettey's is now a thriving business that ships thousands of cookies and dog treats each week to people and companies nationwide. That number often increases during the holidays, with Divitto noting that she has produced 30,000 cookies in a two-week span alone. Today, Collettey's employs 15 people and two interns, a majority of whom have varying abilities, which was incredibly important to Divitto. Her cookies are sold in stores in Massachusetts, California and Connecticut, and can also be ordered online at https://www.colletteys.com/individual-packages/.