When Collette Divitto learned the hard way that nobody wanted to hire her because of her Down syndrome, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
The 26-year-old's business venture, Collettey's Cookies, is taking off with Divitto's signature "amazing" cinnamon-dipped chocolate chip cookie wowing people all around Boston, according to WBZ4. But she's not about to share her prized recipe with anyone.
"It's a secret," she told WBZ4 reporters.
Divitto has been baking since 2011, though she didn't start marketing her creations until her family prodded her a little.
"We kept telling her, 'This is a really good cookie. You could sell this!'" said her mother, Rosemary Alfredo, about her Amazing Cookie.
Collettey's Cookies takes online orders, where you can pick up the Amazing Cookie for $18 per dozen. And soon, the site says there will be a second option, the Healthy Breakfast Cookie, which is made with oats, almonds, dried cranberries and honey. She also has her own business cards and her first client: Golden Goose Market, a neighborhood spot that stocks her cookies on their shelves.
"We just kind of fell in love with her," store owner Stephen DeAngelis said. "We get great feedback. First of all, we have to chase the employees away because they want to eat [the cookies]!"
But it wasn't always this way. A few years ago, Divitto was struggling to find employment due to her disability, hearing time and again that she "wasn't the right fit" for the jobs she applied to.
"It's very upsetting to me," she recounted. "It's very hard to find a paying job for people like me who have special needs."
But the rejections made her stronger. Now she says she is working hard to prove everyone wrong.
"I'm incredibly proud," said Alfredo. "If there's one thing or gift you can give any child, it's that kind of strength. Because when doors have closed for her, she's found a way around them or she's found another door to open that might be an even greater path for her."
Divitto's next step? World domination! Well, not quite, but she is looking to expand her business all across the country, not for herself but for others.
"That's my dream," she said. "I want to help more people with disabilities. It would be a great feeling to hire them."
Want to order some Amazing Cookies? You can do so here.