When I was in first grade, my class went on a field trip to the Wonder Bread factory downtown. As a six year old, I remember being overwhelmed by the sounds of the loud machinery, the smell of baking bread, and the slightly-too-warm air of the factory. At the end of our a visit, a smiling elderly man put Hostess snack cakes into twenty-plus outstretched little hands. I never had the opportunity to visit the factory again but many times over the years, I caught the warm smell of bread as I passed by.
This morning, I learned that Hostess is shutting down forever. It is a sad end to such an iconic company and downright tragic for the 18,000 employees across the nation that will lose their jobs--including more than 250 right here in Memphis. In addition, many families who depended on the Hostess outlets for discounted bread products will have to do their shopping elsewhere.
Although company officials have said that they hope some of their products will be picked up by other manufacturers, it seems clear that it is the end of an era for the brand as we know it.
Photo © tpholland, Creative Commons License