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View Diary: RIP: Hostess Brands, 1925-2012 (66 comments)

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  •  IIRC, Twinkie the Kid gone from Davenport... (15+ / 0-)

    The bakery was closed a couple years ago and IIRC those flour silos were stripped out as the building was gutted. Last i heard, Hostess still owns the empty bakery- They thought they would make a killing selling it to condo developers, but that market crashed on them.

    •  Sad but not surprising. (6+ / 0-)

      I loved that little factory; it was right up on the road, it was tiny and there was the river!

    •  Continental Baking had many small, local bakeries. (6+ / 0-)

      My first job, at Continental Baking, was at the East Hartford, CT bakery....long gone.  That plant was well run, with great staff.  Very little down time and losses.  Even back then the trend was to close these smaller bakeries and move to large, high throughput bakeries.  For whatever the reason, these newer bakeries, in places like Natick, Mass. and East Brunswick, NJ, tended to have a lot of problems, with much higher losses and downtime.  

      I assume Davenport, which I never got to, was closer to East Hartford.  Other super bakeries were in Ogden, Utah, Minneapolis and eventually Jamaica, NY (which was turned around by a new plant manager during the period when I spent a lot of time there).

      I left CBC after the Ralston buyout and relocation of the corporate headquarters to St Louis.  I think that was a bad move.  The company lost a lot of talent.  A lot.

      Yes, Continental made snack cakes and white bread.  But they also made great fruit cakes, pies, and rye bread while I was there.  The rye bread out of the oven was wonderful.

      Sounds as though we have at least 3 former employees of Continental on DKos....

      RIP Wonder/Hostess

      •  hi Tom! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomFromNJ, JayC, ladybug53

        Hope you're familiar with the ex-cons retiree website, if not just google it. I'm Diana, a transport driver from the old Minneapolis bakery... We probably haven't met, but I'm told my notorious reputation spread company wide. You're right, Continental Baking had it down and wisely had local bakeries in every market. In fact, their competitor's copied Continental's model very successfully. The super bakeries were indeed a disaster in many cases- they baked bread so fast that they often spent more time switching bags and varieties than they baked. They we're too big too- I've been inside Natick and it was so big that they wasted a lot of resources just moving stuff around the plant. I've heard they'd actually load up a transport just to move stuff from one side of the plant to the other!

        •  Thanks RR..... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayC, ladybug53

          Will Do.  I did a Cherry Pie project in Minnie....If I recall correctly Minnie had real brick ovens....beautiful pieces of work vs. the newer steel ovens......

          •  Yup, remember hauling the cherries in... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53, TomFromNJ

            We didn't have a big freezer, so we stored the frozen fruits for the pies at a refrigerated warehouse across town and made a daily run there to keep the bakery supplied. Pies were one of Minneapolis bakery's specialties, worked a day once on the line picking them up, two in each hand, and moving them from the wrapper to the trays... Makes me tired just to think of that hard work! That top floor bake shop was hot too, even in the winter. The brick oven was the longest between Chicago and the west coast and I think contributed to the excellence of our bread.

            BTW, both Minneapolis and East Hartford were "original" Continental bakeries from when the company was formed in the 1920s. Minneapolis bakery was torn down to make space for a new convention center in 1988, I was by the East Hartford bakery back in 1994 and part of it was still there and in use as a depot and thrift store.

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