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Must-Try Christmas Cookie Companies Run By Bakers with Disabilities

‘Tis the season for sweets and, more specifically, Christmas cookies! Whether you need cookies for holiday exchanges, hostess gifts or just to satisfy your own sweet tooth, cookie delivery companies may help to simplify your already packed holiday schedule. And, for an added cherry on top, we’ve discovered professional cookie companies run by talented foodies with disabilities.

The following four cookie companies each strive to fill our communities with skilled employees of all abilities… all while filling bellies with deliciousness.

Collettey’s Cookies

“Changing the world one cookie at a time” may sound like a simple, sweet slogan to some. But, in reality, it’s a serious business strategy addressing disability representation in the workforce. Owner Collette Divitto shares that it pains her to know that over 80% of people with a disability that are capable of work cannot find paying jobs – a statistic she, an adult with Down syndrome, was once a part of. Described as a “tough cookie” by many, Divitto started stirring cookie batter and stirring up conversation about inclusion.

Collette Divitto, owner of Collettey’s Cookies, employs people with disabilities.

Divitto has earned accolades as a disability advocate and speaker and, of course, as a baker. Her signature cookie, The Amazing Cookie, is packed with chocolate chips and cinnamon (available in regular or gluten-free). Other cookie flavors, using organic ingredients, include peanut butter, oatmeal raisin and an unexpected breakfast cookie.

Collettey’s online shop features multiple cookie order options, company swag and themed gift packets. Two holiday cookie packets feature Christmas décor in addition to the sweet treats; plus Collettey’s sells a holiday doggie treat basket too.

South Fork Bakery

Five years ago, Shirley Ruch founded South Fork Bakery to kick-start meaningful employment opportunities for adults with disabilities. As a speech and language pathologist focused on children with autism, Ruch recognized that her former students struggled to find work after high school. So, she whipped up a purposeful baking effort. She explains that she already incorporated cooking and baking into therapy practice, as it fostered socialization and direction-following.

South Fork Bakery employs 16 workers with autism and other disabilities, as well as a professional baker and special education teacher.

This holiday season, South Fork Bakery is making gift-giving and cookie exchanges easier than ever with three holiday cookie basket size options: large (48 cookies) at $105, medium (24 cookies) at $50 and small (16 cookies) at $40. Assortments flavors include gingersnap, wheat-free oatmeal raisin, wheat-free chocolate chip, blondie bars, wheat-free chocolate chunky brownies and peppermint brownies. Beyond the holidays, South Fork features party platters and cookie packets with individually-wrapped goodies, vegan/gluten-free “em-power” bars and more.

Reason to Bake

Want to leave something other than chocolate chip cookies on a plate for Santa Claus? Reason to Bake suggests its White Chocolate Cranberry, bursting with the juicy tartness of cranberries, melt-in-your-mouth white chocolate chips and a light cookie texture. Reason to Bake is an artisan small-batch bakery in the North Carolina Appalachian Mountains, specializing in gluten-free, all-natural cookies that are freshly made from scratch and available to ship around the country.

This company was founded by a mother-daughter team, Elise Sampson and Carolyn Sampson, with a mission to foster entrepreneurship among young adults with intellectual disabilities. Carolyn, who has Down syndrome, infuses creative flavors into her gluten-free cookie line, such as Spicy Ginger Cookie and Cranberry Oatmeal Cookie, in addition to a decadent Chocolate Chip. Reason to Bake cookie boxes and variety packs are a sweet find for the holidays or any other occasion.

Kenosha Awesome Cookies

Kenosha Awesome Cookies makes scrumptious cookie kits to delight Wisconsin residents (local sales only). They operate out of the Kenosha Achievement Center (KAC), which provides services and programming for adults and children with special needs. Last December, with a rolling pin in hand, KAC rolled out an initiative to develop job skills that could seamlessly transfer to community settings and workplaces.

kenosha cookies
KAC elves only made 200 of these limited-edition holiday jars. Order now while supplies last.

Each cookie-baking kit created by Kenosha Awesome Cookies consists of one 16- or 32-ounce Mason jar filled with the dry ingredients needed to freshly bake cookies. Customers just need to add the ingredients listed on the label of the jar and pop into a warm oven to achieve ooey-gooey goodness. This season’s featured flavor is Dark Chocolate Peppermint! This limited-edition option is priced at $6.50 for a ready-to-stir 16-ounce jar. If you live in the Kenosha area, order via email at or call (262) 658-9500. Other flavor choices include dark chocolate peanut butter, white chocolate lemon, triple chocolate chip and M&M’s.

Happy holidays… And happy snacking!

Header image courtesy of Collettey’s Cookies (via Facebook). 

Nancy DeVault
Nancy is the managing editor of AmeriDisability. She is an award-winning storyteller passionate about health and happiness.

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