BOSTON (CBS) – In November 2016, WBZ’s Ryan Kath introduced the world to Collette Divitto. At the time, the 26-year-old entrepreneur had a fledgling cookie company – and a dream.
“I want to help more people with disabilities. It would be a great feeling to hire them,” she told us.
What happened next was a whirlwind they never could have foreseen. That WBZ story was viewed more than 30 million times. In the next month Collette’s business exploded! She took tens of thousands of cookie orders. She was featured on national television, was named New Englander of the Year, and her cookies were given out at the Oscars.
So what’s happening now?
Collettey’s Cookies is up to 13 employees, several with disabilities. They are in the process of filling five more open positions. Her cookies are now available not only online, but in several Star Market locations.
Just last month, Collettey’s Cookies was named one of the prestigious finalists in the Mass Challenge startup competition. The honor opens up special support, resources and training to early stage start-ups. Finalists compete for a share of $1.5 Million to be awarded later this year.
Collette recently spoke on a panel at the United Nations about employing people with disabilities. She is teaching an entrepreneur class, and working with state organizations to expand the employment of people with special needs. Collette and her company are also slated to be featured in a documentary that starts filming later this year.
And most importantly – there is a new breakfast cookie launching this summer!
Amid all of that activity, Collette has another goal. She wants to partner with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream on a flavor featuring her chocolate chip cinnamon cookies. Collette’s mom tells us her daughter has written to Ben and Jerry a few times, and isn’t giving up!