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Whatever Happened To The Cookie Kahuna After Shark Tank?

In 2016, Wallace "Wally" Amos appeared on ABC's "Shark Tank," asking for $50,000, which would give the investor 20% stock in the company, The Cookie Kahuna, a Hawaii-based cookie company. People unfamiliar with Amos may have thought, "What's the big deal? It's just a cookie." The big deal was the man pitching the cookies was the founder of the legendary Famous Amos cookies. After losing the company that propelled him into the spotlight in the late 1980s (via The New York Times), he was trying to make a comeback.

Amos had made history in 1957 as the first Black talent agent in the industry, per History, but it turned out that his hobby of baking cookies would be the thing that would catapult him into the history books. He went to business meetings and brought cookies with him. Soon, he started getting cookie requests. After opening a store in 1975, he launched the Famous Amos Cookie Company with support from celebrity fans like Marvin Gaye and Helen Reddy, who donated $25,000, per The New York Times. By 1982, the company was bringing in $12 million in revenue.

Unfortunately, in a struggle to keep up with the company's growth, Amos sold his majority share in it for just over $1 million. He was helpless when the new owners changed the recipe and branding. As The New York Times reported, he was sued for trademark infringement after he started a new company using his own name in 1992. Amos' appearance on "Shark Tank" made it seem as if he was trying to get back the future he'd lost, and he hoped the Sharks would help him.

The Cookie Kahuna went out of business after Shark Tank

When Wally Amos appeared on Season 8, Episode 3 of "Shark Tank," he revealed that he wasn't much of a businessman but was better at marketing. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to market because Amos wasn't allowed to use his face to endorse his company, The Cookie Kahuna, due to agreements he'd signed with Famous Amos. One by one, the Sharks backed away from Amos' pitch, and the entrepreneur was left with no deals (via Shark Tank Tales).

Despite the publicity that he and his new venture received after appearing on the show, The Cookie Kahuna went out of business. In 2017, he posted a YouTube video saying that he started a GoFundMe page to help support him. Amos then revealed he was broke and needed money to pay rent, food, gas, and essentials. He then asked for donations or people to buy the books he's authored. Despite the situation, Amos struck a positive tone in his video, saying that he's sure something will come along in the future, perhaps with cookies. Indeed, something did: Aunt Della's Cookies came along. Sadly, that business also closed due to a lack of funding. It's unclear if Amos has any plans for any other cookie companies in the future.