How Cookie Bakery Collettey's Is Empowering People With Disabilities

Collette Divitto was born with Down syndrome, a genetic condition in which individuals are born with an extra chromosome, but she certainly hasn't let it stop her from living her best life. Divitto is determined to show the world that anything is possible — and that includes starting and running a business.

After developing a passion for baking in high school, Divitto made it her mission to create delicious recipes while providing work opportunities for other people with disabilities. She's been featured on Born for Business, a docuseries that highlights entrepreneurs who have disabilities and the businesses they're building.

As Divitto interviewed for various jobs after completing her studies, she began to find fuel in the numerous rejections she received. Disheartened but not demotivated, Divitto decided to take her future into her own hands and started a cookie company, Collettey's. Now, not only does Divitto ship cookies straight from her kitchen to homes around the world, her business provides employment opportunities and training for others with disabilities.

Cookies with a mission

Collettey's hires employees with disabilities to show the world that this is a population with plenty of skills and talents to contribute. (Divitto also founded the nonprofit Collette's Leadership Program to help others find meaningful employment and has written a book, "Collette in Kindergarten," to encourage differently-abled people.)

The cookies can be ordered by the box, in gift packages, and for events. Flavors like The Amazing Cookie have found repeat customers and Divitto has made the recipe gluten-free to accommodate those with dietary restrictions. The chocolate chip cookie is spiced with cinnamon, boasting a chewy inside and crunchy exterior. For those avoiding sugar, The Healthy Breakfast Cookie offers a tasty alternative; Made without butter and white flour, these cookies offer plenty of nutritional benefits with whole grain oats, unbleached wheat flour, honey, almonds, dried cranberries, and spices.

Every cookie sold helps Devitto with her mission of employing and training people with disabilities, as well as her goal to lobby Washington for a repeal of sub-minimum wage employment.