2017 New Englander of the Year to be Featured on Lay’s Chips Bag
Collette Divitto, a 2017 New Englander of the Year and founder of Collettey’s, will be a featured smile on Lay’s potato chip bags. Collette’s Boston-based cookie business was founded in 2015 and now ships thousands of orders all over the world.
Collette, who has Down Syndrome, struggled to find a job after graduating from Clemson University in 2013. With her mother’s encouragement, Collette decided to take her love for baking and turn it into her own business. Starting by selling her homemade baked goods through her local grocery store, Collette now works out of a commercial kitchen in Boston’s North End and employs 15 people, several of whom have disabilities. According to the Collettey’s website, nearly 82% of people with disabilities are unable to find paying jobs, despite being qualified. Collette’s mission is to create job opportunities for people with disabilities and show the world how capable that population can be.
Collette’s passion and perseverance have not gone unnoticed. Her company has over 17,000 followers on Instagram and has been featured on several media outlets such as CNN, BBC, and Good Morning America. Collette’s most recent recognition comes from Lay’s Operation Smile campaign. Operation Smile is an international medical charity founded by Lay’s with the mission of providing exceptional surgical care to children around the world. Collette will be one of the 31 “Everyday Smilers” on various flavors of Lay’s potato chips bags. Every featured smiler has their name and inspiring story printed on the back of the bag, with the hopes of spreading their mission and impact with hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
When asked how it felt to be on a Lay’s chips bag, Collette replied, “Amazing. I feel happy. I feel confident. I feel empowered.”
The New England Council congratulates Collette on this well-deserved recognition.