The past few days the U.S. has been rocked by news of the sudden closing of a beloved iconic company, Hostess, the maker of the famous Twinkies along with other beloved snacks like Ho Hos, Suzi-Q, Zingers, Snowballs, and more.
What the hell happened? Hostess claimed that it was those greedy unions members who went on strike because they wanted their pay and benefits increased to outrageous levels and the company had no other option but to close. However if you look at other sources, you'd know that it wasn't that nasty union who forced Hostess to close down for good due to its sheer greed.
Hostess was one of those solid American brands that many people were familiar with. I know that Hostess was a major part of my youth. I had lots of memories snacking on things like Ho Hos, Twinkies, and Suzy-Q. When I was younger I used to frequently eat a Hostess snack as a dessert with my lunch. I never forgot when I spent my freshman year at Anne Arundel Community College when someone from Hostess sent two of its employees to the college's Student Center. One person was dressed as the Twinkies mascot while the other person gave away free Twinkies to students.
Yesterday I decided to head out for a final visit to the Hostess Bakery Thriftshop in Beltsville, Maryland. I didn't go there very often mainly because the majority of the food sold there wasn't very healthy for me and if I got a craving for Hostess there is a convenience store closer to my home that I usually go to buy such a snack. But the white building and the colorful sign was definitely a fixture on Route 1.
Photos of the Hostess store in Beltsville, Maryland on its last weekend after the jump.
A fleet of Hostess trucks was parked in the back of the building after the trucks made their last delivery of Hostess products ever.
Despite the building's large size on the outside, the store itself is pretty small. It was very crowded with people buying up as many Hostess products as possible before the store closed for good. Some shelves were already empty when I got there.
Hostess' most famous brand is Twinkies. When I was at the store, the only Twinkes that were still in stock was a special edition Chocolate Creme Twinkies.
As I looked at the inventory that was left, I found some surprises—I never knew that Hostess made cereal. (That's what I get for not visiting the store more often when I had the chance.)
After I purchased what I picked up, I put my bags in the car then I walked over to the 7-11 that is in the shopping center located next door to the Hostess Bakery Thriftshop. I found a few more Hostess products on that shelf but, alas, no Twinkies. I bought some other products that I didn't find at the other store. I ultimately had three shopping bags full of Hostess products.
This is the only healthy Hostess product that I purchased. It's for its unsweetened Toasted Oats that's basically Hostess' version of Cheerios.
The back of the ceral box had some basic facts about animals that kids (and animal lovers in general) would be interested in.
Since I didn't find the regular Twinkies, I went ahead and purchased a box of the Chocolate Creme Twinkies. It'll be close enough to the Twinkies that I fondly remember eating.
I purchased three different flavors of Hostess Donettes—chocolate frosted with a yellow cake, chocolate frosted with a devil's food cake, and powdered sugar with a yellow cake.
Rounding out my purchases are the following products: Suzy Q's, Hostess Cup Cakes, Ho Hos, and Fudge Grahams Cookies.
Today after church I decided to make one more trip to the Hostess Bakery Thriftshop in Beltsville. I had The Smiths' "How Soon is Now" playing in my car as I arrived to the store's front parking lot. In a way the pulsing rhythms and the overall depressing tone of that song made for a fitting soundtrack because I learned from one of the employees that today is the last day that the store would be open to the general public.
Today the prices were slashed even further than yesterday.
There were even more empty shelves than before.
As I browsed the stuff that were left on the shelves, I found that this particular Hostess store sold products by other manufacturers such as the ones I photographed.
This next photo shows how abrupt the closing of Hostess really was. The store had decorations up for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday. Ironically the Hostess employees who are in the process of being laid-off will probably have a hard time finding much to be thankful for.
I didn't buy as much today as I did yesterday mainly because I had either already purchased enough of the products I wanted yesterday or because the products I was interested in (like the original Twinkies with the vanilla cream filling) were sold out. I purchased a couple more boxes of Hostess' version of Cherrios cereal along with these two new Hostess products.
I plan on being very slow about consuming these products over the next few months in order to savor my last taste of these products and to prevent rapid weight gain. I hope I can discipline myself. I have to balance eating these products before they go stale with not eating them so fast that I gain enough weight to make my clothes a tight fit. I know that I need to make sure that I exercise as much as possible in order to burn some of these empty calories that are in Hostess products.
Unless a different company buys the Twinkies recipe and the right to manufacture them, if I have a desire for Twinkies in the future, I will have to closely watch this YouTube video of Jolene Sugarbaker demonstrating how to make Twinkies knock-offs.