STATELINE (WIFR) -- A company that was very much a part of our childhoods is going out of business. Hostess, the makers of Wonder Bread, Twinkies, and Ho-Hos, will close its doors for good after 82 years.
The company claims striking workers crippled its ability to keep making baked goods. Union workers were protesting cuts in wages and benefits. Now, all 18,500 of them will be out of a job. We're told Hostess will attempt to sell their iconic brands including Wonder Bread to other companies. The company's CEO says there are no buyers waiting in the wings but that there has been interest in some of the Hostess brands.
Loves Park is home to one of 500 Hostess outlet bakeries. Dozens of people are now stocking up on the sweet treats at stores across the Stateline.
The shelves are starting to clear out at the Hostess Outlet Store on North 2nd Street as shoppers fight for every last crumb of a snack that could be going extinct.
The company's roughly 500 bakery outlet stores will stay open until the shelves are wiped clean, which, could mean the business could close at any minute. That's why shoppers are filling their carts with dozens of boxes of the cream filled snacks.
"We bought 18 boxes of Twinkies at the Wal-Mart,” said one shopper. "I am trying to collect what I can and freeze what I can right now," said another.
Cake lovers say they're not only stocking up on the snack, they're trying to preserve a childhood memory.