Reporting Jon Delano
WEST MIFFLIN (KDKA) — Hostess announced Friday it had no choice but to go out of business because of a strike by the bakers’ union.
So the company suspended production at its 33 factories and has already filed for bankruptcy protection.
That brought an instant demand for favorite Hostess products, which flew off the shelves at the Hostess bakery shop in West Mifflin.
“It’s a pandemic out here. Everybody’s going to grab their Hostess,” Dylan Farer of Baldwin told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.
Area residents are reacting to the company’s closure by loading up.
“I’m saddened by it. Hostess has been around since I can remember, and their product was very good. Everyone enjoyed it,” said Darlene Smithson of Jefferson Hills.
Smithson packed her car with favorites like Twinkies and cupcakes she intends to freeze.
For many, it was a sad day tinged with nostalgia.
“I was basically raised on Hostess Ho-Hos and Twinkies. Now they’re frying, deep frying them. A lot of people will truly miss them,” added Arnold Ward of Baldwin.
Farer stopped to shop with his mom. His favorite?
“By far, it’s definitely Ho-Hos; Ho-Hos, not a Twinkie guy at all,” he said.
The shelves of many stores are already empty.
One man, who did not want to be identified, went to six Hostess shops before finding Twinkies, where he bought the last ones.
“I’ve been all over both eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, and this location in West Mifflin is the last place I’ve been able to find these,” he said.
It’s not just the loss of iconic American products like Twinkies and Ho-Hos. The bankruptcy of Hostess means the loss of 18,000 jobs at bakeries and shops like these all over America.
Many hope another snack chain might buy the rights to the popular Hostess products.
“Maybe we can get somebody — another company or organization that can come in, buy them up, and continue the process,” said Ward.
But there’s no guarantee, which is why some are racking up a couple hundred miles in search of Twinkies.
“They’re not going to be available anymore. The stores aren’t going to be replenished. This is the last opportunity I’ll have to get them,” the man who traveled to both Ohio and Pennsylvania said.