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Customers are stocking up on their favorite Hostess snack foods after the maker of Twinkies, Wonder Bread and other bakery items announced Friday that it's going out of business.

 Jan Atkins collects Hostess snacks at the company's Bakery Thrift Shop on Powhatan Street in Fredericksburg after Hostess Brands announced that it is going out of business.
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Date published: 11/17/2012


Art and Joanne Williams were dismayed to learn Friday that Hostess Brands Inc. is going out of business after decades of turning out such iconic treats as Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos.

So the Spotsylvania County couple decided to stock up that morning at the Bakery Thrift Shop next to the Wonder Bread/Hostess distribution center on Powhatan Street in Fredericksburg.

"It's the food you grew up with as a kid. It's what your mother threw in your lunchbox," said Art Williams as he and his wife filled their shopping cart with Hostess CupCakes topped with those distinctive white squiggles, as well as Zingers and a number of other items.

"It's pretty sad," added Joanne Williams, who had shopped at the outlet for bread, rolls and cake for more than 20 years on her way home from work at Mary Washington Hospital. "I feel sorry for all the people losing their jobs."

Hostess Brands, which also makes Wonder Bread, announced Friday that it is winding down operations and has filed a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, N.Y. It seeks permission to close its business, lay off most of its 18,500 employees and sell its assets and brands such as Drakes and Dolly Madison, which makes Twinkies.

The Irving, Texas, company has 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers. Locally, there are 14 employees at its Wonder Bread/Hostess distribution center and two at the thrift shop.

Several employees who were at the distribution center on Friday were unhappy about the prospect of having to find new jobs, but had been told not to discuss the company with the media. They and a sales clerk at the thrift shop, however, did say that they hadn't been told when their operations would be shut down.

According to a statement on Hostess Brands' website, it has suspended bakery operations at all of its plants, but will continue to deliver inventory and keep its Hostess Brands retail stores open for several days until all products are sold.

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