Wally Amos, face of LI muffins, tries new cookie venture

Wally Amos, who started the Famous Amos brand, Wally Amos, who started the Famous Amos brand, shows some of his treats being sold in June 12, 2007 under the name The Cookie Kahuna. He was in his office in Kailua, Hawaii. Photo Credit: AP / Lucy Pemoni

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Wally Amos, who created Famous Amos cookies and helped found Shirley-based muffin maker Uncle Wally's, is back in the kitchen.

The 77-year-old Hawaii resident has begun hawking a new brand of snacks in Honolulu under the name The Cookie Kahuna.

He started Famous Amos in Los Angeles in the 1970s, but lost control of the company and the use of the Famous Amos name and image after a string of financial reversals in the 1980s.

In 1992 he helped launch the Shirley snack operation as Uncle Noname Cookies in light of the restrictions on his likeness. The company negotiated with the owners of Famous Amos to let the company change its name to Uncle Wally's Muffins in 1999.

In 2002 Amos tried his hand at yet another cookie venture, Orlando, Florida-based Aunt Della's Cookies, but that business eventually faltered.

Amos, who remains the face of Uncle Wally's Muffins, says his previous successes and failures taught him to never give up.

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"Failure is not failure but an opportunity to begin again more intelligently," he told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, paraphrasing Henry Ford. "I love that quote. On my worst day I never thought I should quit. You are guaranteed to fail if you quit. But if you find the tenacity to keep going, eventually you will succeed."

He said he plans to launch online sales in the coming weeks at TheCookieKahuna.com.

"I'm setting up to do some real business, to make some real money and spend some time with the people that have always helped me," he said. "I don't have that money yet, but it's right around the corner."

@Newsday

With Ken Schachter

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