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Hostess Files For Bankruptcy; What Does It Mean For Detroit’s Twinkies Fans?

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By Christy Strawser
CBS Detroit Managing Editor
It’s a sugar crash for Hostess, makers of Twinkies, Ho Ho’s, Ding Dongs, Donettes and squishily delicious Wonder bread, which filed for bankruptcy protection this week.

Hostess released a statement blaming a weak economy, high pension and medical insurance costs for the financial trouble. The company announced it will seek to modify union contracts for financial relief.

The company also announced it would not shut down any operations for its 19,000 employees, who operate 36 bakeries and 570 retail outlets nationwide, and run 5,500 delivery routes from 565 distribution centers. Hostess was founded in 1888, and started selling Twinkies two-for-a-nickel in 1930, according to the company’s website. That makes Twinkies nearly as American as baseball and apple pie.

But what does it mean for snack cake fans in metro Detroit? Nothing, at least right away.

It’s business as usual at the 10 or so Hostess outlets sprinkled through metro Detroit from Marysville to Troy, Eastpointe to Southgate.

“It’s not going to close or anything like that,” said Lisa, an employee at the Eastpointe location.

She added that several regular customers have expressed concerns about what might happen in the future.

“They’re asking if we’re going to close, but we’re not,” Lisa said.

Visitors to local Hostess stores enjoy discounts like a loaf of Wonder bread for 99 cents, and 10 snack cakes for $3 or .40 cents each.

“Bread and cakes are our biggest sellers,” said Debbie, a manager at the Southgate Hostess store. “Twinkies are a big seller.”

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