A secretary at the company, B. J Gilmore commented that his cookies were exceptionally good and suggested that they go to business together selling his chocolate chip cookies.
In March 1975, he opened the Amos Chocolate Cookie Company on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.
He called his brand ‘Famous Amos' and his was the nation’s first gourmet chocolate chip cookie store.
Cookies from his first store were terrible. Amos explains in his book The Cookie Never Crumbles, until someone pointed out that he had gotten the sides of his new kitchen scale reversed and so was using way too much flour.
Amos soon became as famous as the cookies he produced. His own growing celebrity status was aided by the photograph of himself, front and center in the cookie packaging.
His cookie was simply a variation of the classes Nestlé’s Toll House Cookie, but Amos was a good promoter with plenty of big-name contacts who helped him promote his store and his products.
By the early 1980s, Wally Amos had accumulated a personal fortune of more than $80 million.
Although he made millions in his business, by 1985 the company began to report a loss in revenue, Rather than lose the company, Amos sold the controlling share to ten Bass Brothers of Fort Worth, Texas. Wally Amos gave up the right to use his name commercially and became an employee of the company.
President Baking Company acquired Famous Amos in 1992 and in 1998 it was acquired by the Keebler Company, which in turn was acquired by Kellogg’s in 2001.
History of Famous Amos