Twinkies going off the menu as Hostess shuts down
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Say it isn't so! A world without Twinkies?!!
The company that makes hostess cakes like Twinkies and Ho-Hos is shutting down, leaving workers to pick up the crumbs.
When hostess and it's baker's union couldn't agree on wage concessions, the bakers went on strike.
The company was already in bankruptcy, but was trying to reorganize and cut costs to survive. When bakers refused to end their strike, company management decided to fold.
The move affects a distribution center and outlet store on Stone Avenue in Tucson.
As far back as May, Hostess' parent company officially warned the State of Arizona it might layoff 38 workers in the Tucson area and more than two hundred statewide.
To a lot of Americans, Hostess baked more than just sugary snack cakes, it baked a part of American culture. As the news broke of the Hostess shutdown, Twinkie lovers rushed to the stores for a bittersweet goodbye.
For more than 80 years, Twinkies have been a sweet spot in American life. The spongy cakes with the mysterious white filling have been a cherished treat for kids, their parents, and grandparents before them.
Outside Tucson's Hostess outlet store Tom McNaughton told us, "I like Twinkies, my daughter likes Twinkies, Ding Dongs, my wife does. Since 1930 they've been in business."
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: "So you know the history of these things?"
McNaughton, "Yeah, I do."
Smith asked Lisa Cardenas: "Do you remember how old you were the first time you had a Twinkie?"
"I don't," she said; "I don't but I know in High School I had a box of Twinkies in my locker all the time. Just to have a snack."
Her friend Lisa Chacon said, "I remember being at my grandma's house and when you opened the fridge there was Twinkies and Ding Dongs in her fridge."
And when it comes to Twinkies for the kids, Shirley Meyers has her own definition of kids. She pointed to her pampered Rottweiler, Chrissie.
"She's a rotten Rottie."
Craig Smith asked: "And Twinkies are part of how you spoiled her?"
Meyers: "Yes, that was part of it."
Chrissy the Rottweiler is 9 years old and Twinkies are been a daily treat for most of her life.
Shirley Meyers says, "I guess she'll have to find some other goodie. Probably not as good as what she'd been eating but, we'll find something for her."
When Raymond Poulsen was in the Air Force he made box lunches for air crews and made sure they flew with Twinkies.
Craig Smith asked him:"How did they go over with the aircrews you supplied?"
Poulsen: "Twinkies and pies went over good but they didn't care for Snowballs...and nobody did."
Now these Twinkie loyalists hope a new company will buy the recipe and keep Twinkies on the menu.
Twinkie lovers can take heart, Hostess' CEO is confident Twinkies and the other Hostess brands are so famous some company will buy the brands and produce them again.