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Hostess' closing leaves people hungry for iconic brands

Posted November 16, 2012

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— Hostess is not just another company that is closing – it's a part of the American experience.

Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Snowballs have been around for decades and have made their way into pop culture, such as movies like "Ghostbusters" and "Zombieland."

With Hostess Brands Inc.'s announcement Friday that it plans to shutter all 36 of its plants and begin selling off its assets because of a strike by its bakers union, all of the company's more than 30 brands will now disappear from grocery store shelves, vending machines and lunchboxes.

Gabe Rame, owner of Gabe's Mart convenience store on Jones Franklin Road in Raleigh, said Friday it was hard to keep Twinkies and Hostess cupcakes on his shelves even before the company shut down.

"They're just so popular, especially to old people," Rame said.

"I have great-grandchildren. I can't imagine them growing up without Twinkies," Mildred Jenkins said.

Jenkins and other residents of the Magnolia Glen senior facility in north Raleigh say Twinkies remind them of their childhoods and when their children were young.

Twinkie eating Twinkies ' demise sparks nostalgic munching

"It was the after-school snack, with a glass of milk," she said. "If you were working and weren’t there, to have the Twinkies on hand when they got home from school was so easy to have and easy to put on the grocery list."

They recalled when the individually wrapped creme-filled sponge cakes cost a nickel or dime and when eating them was a treat and not viewed as junk food.

"Nobody knew how many sugar or carbohydrates were in them. You just ate it and didn't think about it," Elsie Takacs said.

The women said, however, that they recognize that nothing lasts forever.

"You have to just do what you have to do, but I hate to see them go," Lois Walsh said.

10 Comments

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  • pedsrndad Nov 21, 1:02 p.m.

    Another triumph by the Unions for the working man. (sarcasm) When a union pushes for more benefits and pay for the workers at the expense of the health of the company, everyone loses. Greed has no place in modern business. Look at how the Unions ruined the automotive industry in the north.

  • corwinsshadow Nov 20, 8:18 a.m.

    1) Not everything is about politics.

    2) This is not the Twinkie-pocalypse. If Hostess can't come to a reasonable deal with their workers, they'll liquidate their assets including the iconic brands and recipes. And whatever mega-food-corp buys it up will make sure you have your Twinkies.

    So carry on, sugar addicts.

  • WooHoo2You Nov 19, 12:25 p.m.

    Thank you UNIONS for making us all pay for your greed. Personally I likd Twinkies and a glass of milk when growing up.-paultaylorsr100

    So it was the union’s fault Hostess is 900 million (yes almost a BILLION) in debt and has filed multiple bankruptcies in the last 10 years? Let me guess…they should have taken the “deal” where they took a large pay cut, lose a larger amount of benefits, and complexly lose their full/paid retirement? (which they still have being the company can’t touch the money without the union’s permission.) BTW, looking at their ‘financials’ Hostess was not long for this world anyway and could have been just a ploy by the stock holders to get their hands on the retirement funds and close shop anyway….

  • Minarchist Nov 19, 10:30 a.m.

    "I work full time and still can't afford insurance but im not out protesting."

    Someone forgot to go to college.

  • Minarchist Nov 19, 10:29 a.m.

    LoL you vote for Obama and it starts to get real. I work full time and still can't afford insurance but im not out protesting. Some people don't even know what work means anymore. They want the money but don't have to work for it. Why should you when everything is free from Obama. i wish NC could break from the US and be on our own.
    MudLife
    November 16, 2012 7:31 p.m.
    Report abuse

    LOL you supported Romney and you get Obama again. Fixed it for you ROmney libs.

  • Country Girlz Have MORE fun Nov 19, 9:27 a.m.

    No company or job is safe from this bad economy.

  • paultaylorsr100 Nov 16, 7:44 p.m.

    Thank you UNIONS for making us all pay for your greed. Personally I likd Twinkies and a glass of milk when growing up.

  • MudLife Nov 16, 7:31 p.m.

    LoL you vote for Obama and it starts to get real. I work full time and still can't afford insurance but im not out protesting. Some people don't even know what work means anymore. They want the money but don't have to work for it. Why should you when everything is free from Obama. i wish NC could break from the US and be on our own.

  • Scubagirl Nov 16, 7:00 p.m.

    The end of an era!

  • tonybigman3 Nov 16, 6:33 p.m.

    this is what unions and obama will get you.i hate unions.