First it was Walt’s Market.
By Sunday, the Chevron was hit.
It swept across Bainbridge Island quickly: the Hostocalypse!
Island stores have experienced a massive run on Hostess treats. In the wake of the news of the baked treat company’s collapse, everything from Twinkies to Ho Hos have vanished faster than Fruit Pie the Magician.
Among the flash of Twinkie takers and Hostess hoarders, one thing is clear: islanders were casting aside healthy eating habits for one last bite of a creme-filled sponge cake or delicious Ding Dong.
The Town & Country Market and Rite Aid were spared from the swarm of customers seeking Sno Balls or one last loaf of Wonder Bread, as they do not carry Hostess products.
Safeway, however, was out of Hostess treats by Friday, Nov. 16. Shelves at Walt’s in Lynwood Center went empty the same day.
“We sold out on Friday,” said Anne Martin, who works at Walt’s.
But still they come, she said.
“People have been asking for (Twinkies) all weekend,” Martin said.
Islanders also cleared out the stock of Hostess goodies at the Fletcher Bay Mart.
“We sold our last one,” said Kahn Park of the Fletcher Bay Mart. “I saw our Hostess guy last week, and that was the last time.”
The snack aisles of smaller markets were not spared either. The Chevron on High School Road had a full shelf of the good stuff on Friday. By Sunday morning, the Donettes had disappeared, and taken Hostess CupCakes with them.
The Islander Market and Deli across the street had the same story to tell.
Not even Rolling Bay’s Jiffy Mart could hold onto any Hostess brands by Monday.
Hostess Brands announced Nov. 16 that it was closing down operations and filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to close down and sell off everything, including its brands and bakeries.
In a press release on Hostess’ website, the company blamed a union strike for the shutdown. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union “initiated a nationwide strike that crippled the company’s ability to produce and deliver products at multiple facilities,” the company said.
The union, however, said its members had sacrificed much in recent years to help Hostess regain its financial footing.
“The truth is that had it not been for the valiant efforts of our members over the last eight years, including accepting significant wage and benefit concessions after the first bankruptcy, this company would have gone out of business long ago,” said union president Frank Hurt in a Nov. 18 statement.
Hurt said six different management teams over eight years failed to make Hostess succeed, and he faulted the company’s leadership for not taking money from union members’ concessions and reinvesting in the company.
Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain has since ordered the two sides into mediation.
Since news of Hostess’ fall, stores across the country have been flooded with folks looking to throw one last lasso around some sponge-cake, creme-filled goodness ala Twinkie the Kid.
Twinkies have even appeared on Internet bidding sites such as eBay and selling for around $20, though some reports indicate boxes have been going for $500.