Woman with Down syndrome starts cookie business after job rejections

- What started out as a woman with Down syndrome baking 100 cookies a week for a local grocery store has morphed into a full-blown business.

Collete Divitto, 26, has always had a passion for cooking, but her specialty is chocolate chip cookies dipped in cinnamon.

“We kept telling her, ‘This is a really good cookie. You could sell this!’’’ said her mother, Rosemary Alfredo.

So when Divitto says she kept hitting barriers for jobs because she wasn’t the “right fit,” she decided to sell her cookies out of a local grocery store, the Golden Goose Market.

“It’s very upsetting to me,” Divitto told CBS Boston. “It’s very hard to find a paying job for people like me who have special needs.”

But, Divitto’s mom said that didn’t stop her.

“I think that all of that rejection for her made her say, 'I’ll show them,'" said Alfredo.

Nearly two weeks ago CBS Boston ran a story about Divitto that went viral and now orders for her cookies are coming in from everywhere — 4,000 orders to be exact.

The Commonwealth Kitchen, a non-profit business incubator, has stepped in to help her scale up her production. Collette has also started a GoFundMe page to raise money for her own facility.

Read: 'It's So Exciting': Little Girl Tells the World That Down Syndrome Isn't Scary in Viral Video

Now Divitto said she can show people with disabilities that they can do anything.

“She’s never accepted her disability,” her mom said. “She’s kind of stepped into this role of trying to inspire and motivate other people. I’m incredibly proud.”


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