Famous Amos Rebounds Again
Through a series of business mistakes on his behalf and the lack of a management team, he was pretty much forced out of the company with no stake. Fortunately though, he did have an employment agreement that paid him an annual salary - but not for long. Eventually, the company that he founded decided that paying their founder a salary wasn't necessary anymore. And so, Amos was terminated completely from Famous Amos Cookies.
Most people know that Famous Amos Cookies was founded by African-American entrepreneur Wally Amos in 1975. However, most people don't know that he lost that company in 1989. In fact, as BlackNews.com reported recently (see www.blacknews.com), Mr. Amos has nothing to do with the company that he once reaped millions of dollars from - absolutely nothing.
One might ask - 'Did the company go bankrupt?' Not exactly - Famous Amos Cookies are still sold in stores today. Then, one might ask - 'Did he sell the company?' Negative again.
According to his personal account in the book "Chicken Soup For The African-American Soul," Wally Amos lost Famous Amos Cookies to his investors. Through a series of business mistakes on his behalf and the lack of a management team, he was pretty much forced out of the company with no stake. Fortunately though, he did have an employment agreement that paid him an annual salary - but not for long. Eventually, the company that he founded decided that paying their founder a salary wasn't necessary anymore. And so, Amos was terminated completely from Famous Amos Cookies. That's the simple version of the complicated story, but it doesn't end there.
Being the entrepreneur that he was, he humbly accepted the situation and in 1991 started another company called Wally Amos Presents Chip and Cookie. He had learned from his mistakes, and this time he would re-launch his cookie empire. Of course - things didn't exactly work out that way. His former company, Famous Amos Cookies, took him to the U.S. District Court and tried to prevent him from using his own name and likeness in any business. Believe it or not, they won. They robbed Wally Amos of his very own name, and he was forced to shut down his newly-founded cookie company.
With all this being told, should African-Americans boycott Famous Amos Cookies? Why would a company want to outcast and disrespect the very person who's responsible for their existence? Would Wal-mart ever do such a thing to Sam Walton (if he were still alive)? Would Microsoft ever do such a thing to Bill Gates? True, business is business, and Amos was legally forced out of his company - but why not at least support the man, the Black man, who founded the company that supports your payroll?
Well, here's the good news. Mr. Amos never looked back, and responded to the situation with a positive attitude. He concluded that "mistakes are the process through which we in turn create success," and founded yet another cookie company called Aunt Della's Cookies named after his aunt. The new company has been quite successful, and is being sold at hundreds of Wal-mart supercenter locations across the country. They even offer cookies sales by mail-order and online through the company web site at www.auntdellascookies.com
So the next time you think cookies - think about the Wally Amos story, and buy Aunt Della's.