What Happened To Cookie Kahuna After Shark Tank?

Shark Tank featured The Cookie Kahuna on November 30, 2020. Cookie legend Wally Amos, the tank’s founder, left without a deal because he was owed royalties from a previous company. 

Here’s a quick reminder of what happened during the homemade cookie pitch, as well as news on a post-Shark Tank update on The Cookie Kahuna.

Cookie Kahuna is a cookie brand infused with the Aloha culture of Hawaii. Chocolate Chip, Butterscotch Macadamia, and Chocolate Chip Pecan are the three primary tastes. The cookies are packaged in plastic. 

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The cookies were sold in Hawaii mostly in compact 6-ounce containers. You could also buy them online. 

Wally Amos, the company’s founder, is Hawaiian; thus, the Kahuna reference was incorporated into its name.

Company NameCookie Kahuna
FounderWally Amos
Productchocolate chip cookie “Cookie Kahuna.”
Investment Seeking$50,000 for 20% in Cookie Kahuna
Final DealNo Deal
SharkNo Shark
EpisodeSeason 8, Episode 3
StatusOut of Business
WebsiteCookie Kahuna

Wallace Amos Jr., a.k.a. Wally Amos, founded and proposed Cookie Kahuna in 2016 on Shark Tank. He is referred to as the “King of Cookies.” 

Wally Amos is also an author and a television personality in the United States. He founded Cookie Kahuna when he was 80 years old. He co-founded Aunt Della’s Cookies with Cookie Kahuna.

Before founding Cookie Kahuna, he founded another cookie business, Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies. He borrowed $25,000 from Marvin Gaye and Helen Reddy to finance Famous Amos. 

Famous Amos was sold in numerous supermarkets throughout the United States, but he was forced to sell Famous Amos owing to financial problems, and his name was trademarked. 

That is why he later founded Uncle Noname’s Cookie Company and Uncle Noname’s Gourmet Muffins. 

Uncle Noname’s Gourmet Muffins was renamed Uncle Wally’s Muffin Company later in the decade. The muffins were sold in over 3500 locations and gained widespread praise.

Additionally, Wally Amos is a novelist. He authored such works as The Cookie Never Crumbles and The Power Within. 

He also authored Man Without a Name: How to Turn Lemons into Lemonade, The Famous Amos Story: The Face That Launched a Thousand Chips, and Watermelon Magic: Seeds Of Wisdom, Slices Of Life. Amos has authored ten novels in all.

He began his career in the William Morris Agency as a clerk and eventually became the agency’s first African-American talent agent.

Famous Amos, a.k.a. Wally Amos, is a part of cookie history. Wally started his first cookie company, Famous Amos, in 1975 based on an aunt’s unique family recipe. 

Despite the huge success of his original cookie business, Wally made poor business judgments, eventually selling off portions of his business. 

Famous Amos changed hands multiple times before settling under the Kellogg brand. Wally now has no stake in his original firm and no right to utilize his name or likeness in any future commercial ventures.

After twenty-five years, Wally is still passionate about baking and selling cookies. Wally designed The Cookie Kahuna cookies, delectable treats cooked in the spirit of “Aloha.” 

Cookie Kahuna cookies come in various flavors, including chocolate chip (with or without pecans) and butterscotch macadamia. The cookies are created according to the original family recipe that started the Famous Amos cookie tradition. 

This recipe is no longer used by Famous Amos. Wally then informs them that he has something that will make them grin — while Wally departs, the five Sharks must settle their differences. 

Is this THE Wally Amos, the inventor of the Famous Amos cookie? Yes, it is! Wally returns with a kazoo and a tray with Sharks sample cookies. 

Sharks throughout the tank burst out laughing. Each Shark receives a dish of cookies along with a glass of milk from Wally. The Sharks all joke that Wally is a legend, but he will not receive the money easily.

The Sharks all rave about their cookie, which is supposed to be slightly lighter and crunchier than other cookies. Wally then discloses that he is the Amos behind the over 40-year-old Famous Amos. Indeed, he is a cookie legend.

Wally’s devotion to cookies was undeniable. His commercial insight, on the other hand, was lacking. He lacked the necessary skills to propel Cookie Kahuna to the next level on his own. 

He appeared on Shark Tank and requested $20,000 in exchange for a 20% stake in his Cookie Kahuna business. However, it was evident that he would not be compensated only based on his name recognition.

Wally entered Shark Tank wearing a smile and carrying a kazoo. He welcomed the Sharks with the song “Cookies for Sharks.” 

He presented each Shark with a plate of sample cookies and a cold glass of milk. The Sharks agreed that Wally Amos was a cookie legend, remarking how delectably light and crisp the cookies were.

Robert enquired about the costs of production and profit margins. Wally took out a scrap of paper and began reading his notes. 

The Sharks were unimpressed that he had to read the information rather than memorize it. He read that Costco charges $7.89 for a one-pound bag. Making the identical bag costs $5.25. 

One bag earned a meager $2.64 profit, representing a margin of less than 20%. Robert pointed out that this is not viable for a firm and that shipping charges could bankrupt him.

Lori was the second Shark to exit, advising Wally to channel his passion and enthusiasm into a more viable venture. Enthusiasm does not sell cookies on its own.

Wally Amos approached Shark Tank with a pitch for Cookie Kahuna, asking $50,000 in exchange for 20% equity holdings. 

He also wrote and sang a song for sharks called ‘cookies for sharks’ while pitching. All of the sharks sampled the cookies and unanimously declared Wally Amos to be a cookie legend. 

While being questioned about production and profit, Wally began reading a piece of paper with all the costs. Which the sharks despised. They anticipated Wally to be aware of it immediately. 

After analyzing production costs and margins, Robert stated that Wally’s profit margins on each bag of cookies are insufficient to support the firm. 

Lori suggested that Wally channel his energy, passion, and excitement into a more profitable venture. And enthusiasm alone will not be sufficient to sell cookies. 

As a result, Lori and Robert declined to invest. Barbara stated that when Wally sold his former firm, he sold his name, attitude, and image. 

Additionally, she stated that her instincts indicate that it will be extremely difficult for Wally to succeed in his second cookie business following the failure of his first cookie business. 

Kevin concurred with Barbara as well. As a result, Barbara and Kevin withdrew as well.

That is why Wally Amos was unable to close a transaction on Shark Tank.

Robert acknowledged Wally’s passion for the product but reminded him that the business’s success is more essential. 

The cookies were delectable, but the costs were prohibitively costly, and distribution was quite limited. Robert did not believe Cookie Kahuna would be a long-term success for these reasons. He made no offer.

Barbara inquired why he would want to establish a second cookie business from scratch after the first failed so spectacularly. 

Wally stated that he simply enjoys cookies and feels he could duplicate Famous Amos’ popularity. Barbara withdrew, pointing out that when Wally sold his firm, he sold his image and personality. 

Her business knowledge informed her that Wally’s misstep was costly and would preclude him from starting another profitable cookie business.

Kevin, like Barbara, withdrew. He concluded that due to the difficulties associated with not having access to Famous Amos’ image and name, Cookie Kahuna was not an investable brand.

Mark was the final Shark to consider a proposal. And, as much as he desired to start one, he already had a cookie business. He was also forced to withdraw due to a conflict of interest.

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The Sharks quickly realized that while Wally Amos was an excellent promoter, he was not a skilled businessman. 

He relished the opportunity to interact with consumers, but his focus was on selling a nice time, not how the cookies could generate revenue.

Wally may have left Shark Tank empty-handed, but he did not lose his zeal. He left the show hoping he could take the Cookie Kahuna and expand it to rival, if not surpass, the size of Famous Amos.

During his Shark Tank pitch, Wally Amos stated that he sells each bag of Cookies to Costco for $7.89. The cost of producing the identical bag is $5.25. 

Wally profited $2.62 on each bag. Profit margins were less than 20% when production costs were considered. 

As previously stated by the sharks, it was insufficient to sustain the business. If Wally wishes to ship the cookies, the shipping costs would effectively bankrupt him.

Cookie Kahuna was also available in Hawaii’s brick-and-mortar stores and online. They were $5.99 each.

Cookie Kahuna’s sales before Shark Tank were $36,215. Cookie Kahuna noticed an increase in sales following Shark Tank. Wally Amos said that he and Cookie Kahuna increased in popularity following Shark Tank.

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Wally Amos went bankrupt after Cookie Kahuna failed to generate revenue. In 2017, he was forced to create a GoFundMe page to raise funds to get back on track financially.

A high cost of production and low-profit margins into Cookie Kahuna led to low profitability.

The Sharks wouldn’t want to take a risk on Cookie Kahuna. Hence, the sharks did not invest in Cookie Kahuna, and Wally Amos left the Shark Tank without any deal. 

Cookie Kahuna has ceased operations. Later in life, Wally Amos shifted his focus to his second cookie brand, Aunt Della’s Cookies. 

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However, that company also went bankrupt. As a result, Wally Amos encountered financial difficulties. However, even at the age of 84, his passion for baking and selling cookies keeps him going. He wishes to provide joy to others through his cookies.

Wally’s Shark Tank experience was satisfying even though he did not receive an offer. 

According to a post-show interview, Cookie Kahuna’s exposure to Shark Tank has led to greater awareness and media attention. 

He believes that increased exposure results in increased revenue. A potential shock should always be on the minds of his consumers, he advises.

Cookie Kahuna remains open for business. You may still order them online and have them delivered to your door via Wally’s Cookies.

The cookies themselves provide little information because they are identical to the original Famous Amos cookies. 

Things seem to be selling out fast online. Although distribution is still restricted, it is increasing. Costco looks to be the first nationwide retailer of Cookie Kahuna cookies in the United States.

He is unwilling to give up on his cookie dreams despite his 82-year-old status as a Hawaiin-shirt enthusiast. The retailer offers discounts on social media across nearly all holidays, no matter where he finds him.

Where is Wally Amos Now?

Wally received funding for Cookie Kahuna from a business partner, while Wally focused on operations.

Wally was forced to shut down the business due to a lack of cash when the partner left.

His cookie empire in tatters, the 82-year-old baked again, determined to resurrect it.

Wally shifted his focus to Aunt Della’s Cookies, his new cookie business. As a tribute to the aunt who taught him how to bake for the first time, he chose Della.

His new cookie firm was briefly featured on Indiegogo in 2019 but was forced to close due to a lack of funds. It appears as though the firm has ceased operations.

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Wally Amos, 84, a Hawaiian shirt-wearing businessman struggling in the cookie industry, will not abandon his cookie dreams and will continue to bring joy to his customers everywhere he goes.

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