By Christy Strawser

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Apparently the preservatives that keep Twinkies alive for decades don’t work on the company itself — because Hostess, creator of tasty treats that fill metro Detroit grocery stores, announced Friday it will close.

Following a bankruptcy and a prolonged labor dispute that involved a “crippling” work stoppage, Hostess announced it has ceased operations at all plants. Management reportedly intends to sell all assets and lay off 18,500 employees.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” Gregory F. Rayburn, Hostess’ chief executive, said in a statement.

Is it the end of Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and Snowballs? Can peanut butter and jelly sandwiches be made without Wonder Bread?

The verdict is out, with experts saying the company could sell its brand to another manufacturer.

Friday, at the Hostess/Wonderbread outlet in Livonia, WWJ’s Pat Sweeting was met by a rush of shoppers.

Christine Zoltowski of Livonia said her 13-year-old son was anxious to get to the store. “He said to me this morning, well if Hostess is closing can we go and see if we can get some Twinkies real quick before they’re all gone.”

Holding his bag full of goodies, Alex Zoltowski told Sweeting they bought, “… four boxes of a lot of different things, but what I came here for was Twinkies … and they’re all gone, the regular Twinkies — they only had chocolate ones and I’m just glad I got my hands on some Twinkies at least,” adding that he saw some lucky folks leaving with 10 or 20 boxes.

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