Fayetteville, N.C. — Crissy Caulder, of Fayetteville, was one of the first female drivers for Merita Bread – one of the labels under Hostess Brands.
When she started working for the company, a loaf of bread was 29 cents, and only men delivered it.
"They hired me but did not think I would last," she recalled Friday as she reflected on the changes she has seen with the company, right to the end.
Founded more than 80 years ago, Hostess Brands shut down Friday after, management says, a weeklong union strike crippled its operations.
Caulder's two daughters followed in her footsteps, making careers with Merita.
Now, they're left without a job.
Things, however, were much different for Caulder.
"When I was there, it was the best time," she said.
As a single mother, driving the bread truck meant more money. She started doing so in 1983.
"The first day they turned me loose on my own, I fell off the truck and broke my foot," Caulder said.
Co-workers thought she was gone for sure after that, but Caulder stuck with it.
As for Hostess, already-baked products will continue to be delivered, and the company says its retail stores will remain open for a few days to sell off remaining stock.