A Tribute to Daniela Cos-Kelly, a Loving Mother and Advocate for Youth Entrepreneurship, an Eternal Friend to Lemonade Day

By Steven Gordon, Lemonade Day National President


“Daniela has been a positive influence and unforgettable personality to all that have been fortunate enough to know her. She was such a beautiful person, someone that gave all she could to help others, in whatever way she could. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Daniela’s family and three wonderful sons. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to have known her and been a part of her life. She will be dearly missed by all of her Shark Tank Family.”

  1. Shark Tank comment posted at www.gofundme.com/in-loving-memory-of-daniela-kelly


Daniela Cos-Kelly

(Source: https://achieveit360.com/ryan-kelly-of-ryans-barkery-interview-achieveit360/ June 2014)


Nicholas, Ryan, and Eric Kelly are three young men who have lost a wonderful mother. Mirella Cos has lost a loving, caring daughter. Edward Cos has lost a special sister. The Shark Tank family has lost one of their own. And Lemonade Day has lost an amazing friend and staunch youth entrepreneurship advocate. Daniela Cos-Kelly, only 48 years old, died suddenly on Thursday, Oct. 18. 2018.

Ironically, only two days prior to Daniela’s death, a 2015 Beyond the Tank segment featuring Daniela, son Ryan, and Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran re-aired on several television networks. Beyond the Tank is a follow up program that tracks the progress of the businesses in which the Sharks invest. Daniela and Ryan appeared on Shank Tank in 2013 with Barkley, the Kelly family’s adopted Beagle, when Ryan was only 11. The trio made a pitch for $25,000 in funds in exchange for 25 percent ownership of Ryan’s Barkery, a natural pet treat business. At the time, Ryan was the youngest business owner to appear on Shark Tank. Ryan and Daniela shared a passion for baking and had consulted with veterinarians for guidance on natural ingredients for pet treats. Barkley served as a willing taste-tester for the treats Daniela and Ryan baked. Not only did Barbara make the investment of $25,000, but she also became a friend and confidante to Daniela and Ryan.  Barbara worked with Daniela and Ryan on many aspects of the business, including the renaming of Ryan’s Barkery to Ry’s Ruffery.  Daniela also became comfortable with sharing personal information with Barbara, including that a stroke almost prevented her from appearing on Shark Tank with Ryan in 2013.

See Season 4, Episode 26, featuring Ryan and Daniela making their pitch with family Beagle named Barkley via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKT8NI0vKJE

Ryan and Daniela

Source: Ry’s Ruffery Facebook Page, September 2014

See Beyond the Tank segment featuring Daniela, Ryan and Barbara via this link:


SharkTank Update


Lemonade Day Ambassadors

I am forever thankful to Daniela and Ryan for becoming involved with Lemonade Day in Boston several years ago, where they visited Lemonade Day activities sponsored by Babson College.  Ryan and Daniela sampled several homemade lemonade recipes and encouraged other kids and their mentors to engage in the Lemonade Day experience as well as other youth entrepreneurial endeavors. 

In late summer 2017, Daniela and Ryan accepted our invitation to join us at the Lemonade Day National City Directors Conference shortly after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on people, pets and property in Houston and other communities along the Gulf of Mexico coastline.  Not only did Daniela and Ryan participate in our conference and share their Shark Tank/Beyond the Tank experiences with Ry’s Ruffery, but they also made special arrangements to visit hundreds of pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey who were being housed at NRG Center in Houston before returning to their hometown of Stanford, Connecticut.  Ryan and Daniela also supported Lemonade Day Louisville events inspiring both kids and adults to go for their dreams and launch a business of their own.

I had the distinct pleasure of hosting Daniela and Ryan for an enjoyable lunch and lively conversation about youth entrepreneurship at a waterfront restaurant in Stanford in December of last year. Daniela had graciously offered to drive me from the train station to the restaurant and back. During that memorable visit, Daniela explained how supportive she was of Ryan’s interest in becoming active as a national youth entrepreneurship speaker along with her commitment to supporting her older, college-aged son, Nicholas, and youngest son, Eric, who is active in the sport of hockey. She pledged then and there that she and Ryan were willing to become official Lemonade Day ambassadors and would help as much as possible, as often as possible.

Daniela was always enthusiastic, kind, and compassionate to me and to all of us involved in the Lemonade Day program. She was so much more than a “Shark Tank mom” or Facebook acquaintance to us. She was a true friend who made time for sincere comments on our Lemonade Day and personal Facebook pages, to exchange text messages and to have thoughtful phone conversations. She made time to share heartfelt condolences when a member of our team’s beloved dog died of cancer earlier this year. She mailed a huge box of treats to a sick and dying parent of an adopted dog named Ethel that she didn’t know personally but wanted to help.  

We knew the admirable efforts Daniela made to be Ryan’s employee and manage the business operations of Ry’s Ruffery while juggling hectic school, sports and “life” needs that impacted her and her family. We understood when she decided to pursue and accept a new job. We knew that she wanted to write a book.  She was only 48, with plans and goals like the rest of us. And then, Daniela was gone, way too soon.


Steven, Ryan, and Daniela

Steven Gordon with Ryan Kelly and Daniela Cos-Kelly, December 2017

Making a Difference

Daniela Cos-Kelly made a positive difference and a lasting impact. She connected with people and pets in a meaningful and special way. I am one of many who can say I am truly honored to have known Daniela personally. She was and always will be a bright light for me and for thousands of others who miss her already.

To read Daniela’s obituary or to offer condolences to Daniela’s family online, please visit


For those wishing to help Daniela’s family, please follow this link https://www.gofundme.com/in-loving-memory-of-daniela-kelly

All the funds raised through this campaign have been set up for Ed Cos (Daniela's brother) to have exclusive use and control of the funds for the family. All monies raised will directly and equally benefit Nicholas, Ryan, and Eric.

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