Society

Woman With Down Syndrome Gets Big Business Boost

| by Brendan Kelly

A business owner with Down syndrome got a big surprise after a story about her cookie business went viral.

For years, Collette Divitto's family members told her that her cookie recipe was amazing and that they thought her cookies would sell. Divitto's creation was a chocolate chip cookie, which she dips in cinnamon. 

"It's a secret," she told WBZ of the exact recipe.

After some convincing, Divitto decided to sell her cookies. She made a website, got business cards and began the process of getting her business off the ground.

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Previously, Divitto says she had a hard time finding work. Several employers told her that she "wasn't the right fit."

"It's very upsetting to me," she told WBZ. "It's very hard to find a paying job for people like me who have special needs."

The rejection from employers led to Divitto's decision to start her own business. After setting up her website, she started taking orders online. Divitto's mother says she wants to prove people wrong.

"She's never accepted her disability," her mother said. "She's kind of stepped into this role of trying to inspire and motivate other people."

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Soon after launching Colletty's, Divitto found her first client -- The Golden Goose Market, a local Boston business that agreed to sell her cookies in its store.

"You know we just kind of fell in love with her," said owner Stephen DeAngelis. "We get great feedback. First of all, we have to chase the employees away because they want to eat them!"

The story of Divitto's cookie business quickly spread online. In the WBZ story, Divitto said her dream would be to sell cookies nationwide. Soon after, she got big surprise. 

Divitto received more than 25,000 cookie orders from all over the country, reports the Daily Mail. 

"I haven't slept at all," she joked. "I am really amazed at the support for my company and my cookies."

The Golden Goose Market has offered to let Divitto use its kitchen space while she catches up on her thousands of orders. The store's manager says it is committed to helping Divitto grow her booming business.

"It's all about her at this point," manager Jesse Powers said. "It's not about the Golden Goose. It's about helping Collette grow her business and her dreams."

In addition to the sales, Divitto received thousands of supportive emails from all over the world.

"It's been so uplifting to see the love and compassion across the world," Divitto's mother said.

Divitto's story was viewed more than 10 million times after being shared on the WBZ Facebook page.

Sources: WBZ (2), Daily Mail / Photo credit: Collettey's via Daily Mail

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