What Happened To Cookie Kahuna After Shark Tank?

When Cookie Kahuna was pitched in on Season 8 of the hit show "Shark Tank" in 2016, the famous face behind the business, Wally Amos, was no novice to the cookie game, per the Shark Tank Blog. Eighty years old when he went before the Sharks, Amos had previously owned Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies, a company he founded in 1975 based on his aunt's chocolate chip cookie recipe. Eventually, the brand expanded into different types of cookies, and after gaining investments from celebrities like Marvin Gaye, Amos grew his business. Within the first seven years, the company's revenue had reached about $12 million (via History).

Amos was the face of and personality behind the enterprise, calling himself "the face that launched a thousand chips." But as Amos proved to be a much better marketer than a businessman, he found himself having to sell Famous Amos in 1985 and losing the rights to the business. After a brief foray into the muffin business with his company Uncle Wally's Muffin Co. (via NBC News), Amos was ready to be back in the cookie business when he appeared before the Sharks with his Hawaiian-inspired cookie company, Cookie Kahuna, featuring cookies "baked with Aloha" (via Facebook). Fortune Magazine called the new business Amos' "cookie comeback." He asked the Sharks for a $50,000 investment in the company for 20% equity but walked away without a deal.

You can't say Wally Amos didn't give the cookie business an honest try

Wally Amos was selling packaged Cookie Kahuna cookies at Costco stores in Hawaii at the time he appeared on "Shark Tank," but his profit margin was low (per the Shark Tank Blog). Shark Barbara Corcoran opined that when Amos was forced to sell Famous Amos, he not only lost his cookies but a bit of himself that he couldn't bring back to market another cookie business. "When you sold your business, you not only sold your name but also your personality. Without that, the business has very little value" (via Shark Tank Tales).

Unfortunately, without the investment from the Sharks, Amos' Cookie Kahuna endeavor was unsuccessful, and the business went defunct. By 2017, the entrepreneur was out of money and had started a GoFundMe page to pay for personal expenses like rent and food (via History). Amos, apparently undeterred by failure, went on to found Aunt Della's Cookies, which reportedly began forming in 2018, per Charlotte Magazine. It appears that the company also quickly went out of business.

Wally Amos is all cookied out

The Cookie Kahuna business may have been a short-lived endeavor, but what Wally Amos lacked in business skills, he certainly made up for in personality. According to History, over the course of his life, Amos appeared on several TV shows, including "The Jeffersons." He also held a spot in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for five years. He was also the author of several books and was awarded the National Literacy Honors Award for his advocacy for literacy by President George H.W. Bush. His iconic shirt and hat are featured in the Smithsonian (via News One). A pair of filmmakers even made a documentary about his life. His son Shawn called him a "perennial hustler" who was only looking for a "comeback" story with his perpetual cookie business efforts.

But after "Shark Tank" and Aunt Della's Cookies, it appears his cookie days are over, something he himself admitted. "This is my last company, I can tell you that for sure," Amos told Charlotte Magazine of Aunt Della's. "Put that on my tombstone: 'He died starting one last cookie company.'" As of this writing, it seems he's still alive.