Twinkies, workers in limbo

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Frank Mulhi, owner of Man Market on South Street, used to sell Hostess products at his Franklin store. Now he carries other brands of pastries and baked goods. -- STEPHEN H. COWLES/TIDEWATER NEWS

COURTLAND—The relatively few Twinkies at the Food Lion in Courtland were quickly bought right after Hostess Brands Inc. announced Friday it was closing.

“Everybody came in and bought them, though we didn’t have that many, maybe a dozen,” said employee Sally Violet, noting only Ho-Hos remained on Monday. “We’re not getting any more that I know of.”

The shuttering of Hostess comes from repeated financial losses, rising production costs and a recent strike by the Bakery Workers Union, according to published reports. The company was in bankruptcy court on Monday, looking to liquidate its assets and shut down permanently.

But the judge called for a mediation session on Tuesday afternoon. If that’s successful, both the company and more than 18,000 employees might be saved.

Calls and visits to other stores in hopes of finding the cakes came up empty. At some stores, the treats weren’t even sold.

Frank Mulhi, owner of Man Market on South Street in Franklin for 16 years, said deliveries from Hostess stopped three or four years ago.

For a while, Mulhi said he would buy Twinkies from places like Sam’s Club and resell them. Now he only carries pastries from other brands.

Earlier reports have suggested that if Hostess is ultimately sold, the rights to the recipes for Twinkies and other Hostess favorites could be bought and made again.