News Friday that Hostess Brands Inc., would be liquidating caused a run on Twinkies at the Wonder Hostess Outlet in Bremerton.
Manager Jean Price said her entire supply of the familiar oblong cakes with the pearly white filling was cleaned out by a single customer shortly after she opened up. Other Hostess goodies, too, were in high demand. All morning Donettes, Ho Hos, CupCakes, SnoBalls and Zingers were flying off the shelves at a steady clip.
“We’re all mourning,” said Linda Murphy of Bremerton. “I just got the last cherry pie. Look, I can hand this down to my grandchildren.”
You can read more about the closing of the outlet store, that has operated off Kitsap Way (behind Burger King) since 1962 in story to be posted soon at kitsapsun.com.
In the meantime, here’s a little Hostess history
from the company’s website.
1901: Hostess established as a sweet goods baker.
1919: Hostess CupCakes (yes, that’s no typo) become the “best-selling snack cakes in history.” Not to take anything from the CupCake, but I wonder if that was because the history of commercially produced snack cakes was fairly limited at the time.
The website goes on,” It wasn’t until over 30 years later that baker Doc Rice added the signature 7 squiggles and vanilla-crème filling.” Varieties eventually included Chocolate, Golden, Orange and Strawberry.
1930: The Twinkie makes its debut. Invented by James Dewar (aka “Grandpa Twinkie”) in Schiller Park, Ill., the Twinkie was inspired by an ad for “Twinkle Toe” shoes. The treat sold two-for-a-nickel. Production at one point reached more than 500 million Twinkies per year. In 1999 President Bill Clinton included Twinkies in the millennium time capsule.
1947: Hostess SnoBalls join the line-up. The original SnoBalls were a white marshmallow and shredded coconut covered chocolate cake. Three years later the crème filling was added. Soon after SnoBalls were dyed the famous pink.
In the 1960s, other popular products were introduced, including Suzy Q’s (1961), named after the daughter of a company executive, Fruit Pies (1965), Ding Dongs and Ho Hos (both in 1967).
In 2007, the company bowed to the wave of anti-obesity zeal sweeping the country, with the introduction of “100-Calorie Packs.” Was this a good idea? You be the judge, but I say anyone in the mood for a good Hostess high is not counting calories. This may have been the beginning of the end for Hostess.
In 2010, Hostess followed with “better-for-you Smart Bakes line of muffins and streusel cakes” with whole grains and fiber.
I rest my case.
To some, the preferred method for eating a Twinkie is breaking it and licking the creme filling from either side. Some like to squeeze the filling out, kind of like popping a zit.
Don Gonzalez of Port Orchard has a more manly style. “I just shove it in,” he said.
How do you eat a Twinkie? And what’s your favorite Hostess cake? Take our poll on the Kitsap Sun.