Wally 'Cookie Kahuna' Amos to Sell at Costco
There is absolutely no doubt that Wally Amos loves making cookies. At age 79, he's been at it for 40 years, much of it against the odds. And now, the latest incarnation of his cookie business has found a new outlet.
"Clearly, I am proving you are never too old to quit, eating or baking cookies," Amos says in an emailed statement.
The Cookie Kahuna is Amos' latest 'cookie comeback,' promising the original recipe and handmade techniques that rocketed him to national prominence in the 1980s. The cookies will be sold at Costco's store in Iwilei. It's the busiest Costco store in the world.
"Costco made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: 'Wally, you wanna sell your cookies in our number one store in the good old USA, which is also your home town, Costco Iwilei, Honolulu?'” he recalls.
"I did have one stipulation. I said, it had to be before I died. They said, 'You cannot die before August 2015," he adds. "I said, 'Deal!'"
Amos says The Cookie Kahuna will debut at Costco on Saturday, Aug. 8. It will definitely be his biggest retail partner yet, following Boardwalk Treats at Ala Moana Center, and his online store.
It isn't the first time Amos and Costco have worked together. Amos wrote an article in Costco's member magazine, The Costco Connection, a couple of years ago.
"Commit to change some part of your behavior today," he wrote. "Fight no longer. Everything must change. Let go now and feel the chains fall to the ground."
Amos certainly is no stranger to change. Famous Amos was a $10 million business when Amos had to give it up in the '80s. Since the business trademark included his name, his second act was under the name "The Uncle Noname Cookie Company." After that came Uncle Wally’s Company, a national distributor of muffins.
In the business world, Amos has a reputation for being a 'comeback kid,' and he prides himself on his resilience.
“I’m a high school dropout, I don’t have any really great skills, but I won’t give up," he said at a conference on Kauai in April. "I’m about being positive, It’s the only thing I want to be.”
Meanwhile, over the years, he remained a well-known media personality, and became an inspirational speaker and author. Education and literacy are among his favorite causes, and he's worked with Literacy Volunteers of America, the National Center for Family Literacy, and Communities in Schools.
"Be there or be square," Amos writes. "Bring all your friends, whether they wanna come or not, whether you like them or not."
I work next door to Costco in Iwilei, so I'm looking forward to tasting the cookie that started it all.
For more information, visit CookieKahuna.com, connect with the company on Facebook, follow @TheCookieKahuna on Twitter or @TheCookieKahuna on Instagram.