You’ve probably heard of Famous Amos Cookies, they’ve been a popular treat across the nation for decades. The Famous Amos brand was created by Wally Amos, an entrepreneur and TV personality originally from from Tallahassee. Before becoming a cookie mogul, Wally was also a literacy advocate and the host of an adult reading program called Learn To Read on PBS.
Wally launched Famous Amos in the late 70s, and by the early 80s he had grown it into an 80 million dollar cookie empire. Unfortunately during the late 80s the company’s good fortune began to take a sharp turn. Wally blames himself for the company’s monetary difficulties, and says that some of the people he hired to run the company had also made some serious mistakes. Facing financial challenges meant Wally had to bring in outside investors to raise money, and eventually he lost control of the company. Famous Amos had 4 new owners between 1984 – 1987 and Wally lost more and more shares of the company, eventually being relegated to the role of a spokesperson. Tensions grew between Wally and the new owners, a foreign banking conglomerate, and ultimately Wally sold his remaining interest in the company.
The new owners of the Famous Amos brand changed the recipe and the cookies were just never the same as Wally’s. After losing the brand he had made so successful, Wally moved to Kailua, Hawaii and opened a small cookie shop called Chip & Cookie, using his original recipes. When he decided to expand and reclaim his cookie empire, he discovered he couldn’t use the Famous Amos name (named after him!) since his old company still owned the trademark.
Undeterred, Wally relaunched his business under the name The Uncle Noname’s Cookie Company, which later became Uncle Noname’s Gourmet Muffins, and eventually Uncle Wally’s Muffins.
On October 7th, 2016 (Almost 40 years since he began) Wally brings his latest evolution of the business, The Cookie Kahuna, to Shark Tank. Cookie Kahuna cookies are very similar to his original recipe for Famous Amos cookies. They’re available in 3 flavors – Chocolate Chip (32% chocolate), Chocolate Chip Pecan, and Butterscotch Macadamia.