Twinkies in Danger: Hostess May Liquidate Today

Growing up in Brooklyn, there were only two kinds of bread available at any given day -- fresh baked loaves of Italian bread for the grownups -- and Hostess Wonder Bread for us kids.

In fact, Hostess was pretty much what kids lived on. Tin lunchboxes emblazoned with Star Wars or Strawberry Shortcake were filled with baloney or PB&J sandwiches (on Wonder Bread), and a Twinkie or HoHo for dessert.  

The best part about those sandwiches was the ability to take the non-nutritious unnaturally white Wonder Bead and roll it into a dough ball which, for reasons only known to eight year-olds, made the bread taste better.  

The merits of each Hostess snack cake was fiercely debated on the playground. Twinkies had that golden, spongy cake filled with icing so sweet your teeth tingled at first bite. Sno Balls were pink on the outside, chocolate on the inside, and covered with coconut to resemble snow. Ho Ho's were chocolate on chocolate, which usually resulted in coco-colored handprints on white dresses. My favorite were the orange cupcakes that tasted something like a cross between a creamsicle and baby aspirin.  

These childhood memories may all be swept away today. 

CNN is reporting that Hostess Brands might liquidate unless striking bakers return to work today. The bakers and Hostess have been hashing out a new contract since September when the International Brotherhood of Teamsters accepted a new contract with reduced wages and benefits for the Hostess employees they represent and the bakers' union did not. Bakers finally went on strike.

Hostess Brands filed for bankruptcy in 2004 and has already closed several bakeries, including ones in Seattle, St. Louis, and Cincinnati, leaving 627 people without jobs. If Hostess liquidates, nearly 18,000 people stand to hit the unemployment line.  

"We simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike," Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn said in a statement. 

If Hostess closes, our childhood favorite treats would likely continue on as the recipes and trademarks would be auctioned off to another company, but the fact that it would be sold to a large conglomerate, coupled with the knowledge that so many people lost their incomes, pensions, and careers over this, would somehow make a new Twinkie's creamy filling far less sweet.

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