Wally ‘Famous’ Amos

Wednesday - September 14, 2005
By MidWeek Staff | Share Del.icio.us

When Wally Amos designed his new business cards, he decided to forego the typical “CEO” title in favor of a more creative one: “Messenger of Inspiration.”

“I want to inspire people to be better than they ever dreamed of being,” says Amos, who was featured on MidWeek‘s cover in April 1985.

These days, Amos, 69, is inspiring people by promoting the importance of children’s literacy, and he’s doing it by going back to his roots - what first made him “Famous” as founder of Famous Amos cookies years ago - opening a new cookie store at 609 Kailua Road.

Amos’ latest venture, Chip & Cookie, is more than just a place to sell cookies. The shop has a library of children’s books and a spot for patrons to sit, enjoy milk and cookies, and read a book.

“We’re all about reading aloud,” says Amos, who lives in Lanikai. “I think that’s one of the best things you can do for a young person. If you can consistently read aloud to your child from the time they’re born, it’ll make such a profound difference - at least 10 minutes a day, minimum.”

Amos has formed the Chip & Cookie Read Aloud Foundation and will donate 10 percent of net profits from the retail store to the foundation.

The Chip & Cookie characters were first created by Amos’ wife Christine (pictured above),who brought them to life as plush, cookie-shaped dolls.

Chip & Cookie marks a new beginning for Amos, who says he’s never given up dreaming of owning another cookie store. After being the energetic face of Famous Amos cookies in the ‘70s and ‘80s, a lawsuit forced Amos to give up ownership of the company and his name as it related to food products. Keebler bought Famous Amos in 1999 and today, it’s owned by Kellogg’s.

During that time, Amos started a company called Uncle No Namé, which began as a cookie company and is now a muffin distribution business called Uncle Wally’s.

Along the way, Amos developed his writing talents and is author of five books, most of them inspirational/motivational tales of how to deal with the obstacles life throws your way. His published works include The Face that Launched A Thousand Ships, The Power in You, Man with No Name, Watermelon Magic: Seeds of Wisdom, Slices of Life and The Cookie Never Crumbles. Amos also plans to release a sixth book, published by Blue Mountain Arts, titled Be Positive, in 2006.

“I’ve learned from my mistakes, and I want to move forward with my life,” says Amos, who is a father of five. “I want people to know it’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s how you respond to what happens to you. Keep right on moving.”

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