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Schiller Park Hostess Factory, Birthplace Of Twinkie, Halts All Production

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Hostess Brands, the seller of Twinkies and other baked goods, has announced that they will be shutting down company operations after a worker’s strike.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union, or BCTGM for short, went on strike in mid-November after another contract negotiation failed.

On November 16th the company announced on its website that it would begin winding down operations after an insufficient amount of workers reported for work the previous day. All plants and outlets were to be liquidated and shut down in the following days.

There are many companies looking to acquire Hostess’ assets, which in total are valued at around $950 million. Flowers Foods, maker of Tastykakes and Nature’s Own, of Thomasville, Georgia is one of the front runners. Another bidder is Grupo Bimbo of Mexico, seller of Bimbo products in the United States and the leading seller of baked goods in this country. McKee Foods, the privately held company that produces Little Debbie snack cakes, has shown as interest in Hostess.

Hostess is a namesake in the Leyden area. A Hostess and Interstate Bakeries factory is located in Schiller Park down the street from East Leyden, and, interestingly enough, it is the birthplace of the Twinkie. It was created by factory manager James Dewar in 1930. There is also a Hostess Outlet Store on West Street in River Grove.

The recent liquidation brought many consumers to the outlet and surrounding stores that carry Hostess products to clear the shelves of remaining goods.

However, the Schiller Park closing means that 297 workers will lose their jobs at the plant, where they baked Twinkies, CupCakes, Ho Hos, and Honey Buns.

However, in an interview with Schiller Park mayor Anna Montana , the mayor assured residents that the leave of the company is not a topic to stress about.

“Although we never want companies to leave, the Hostess factories are private property and taxes won’t go up or down for residents,” Mayor Montana confirmed.

Village Manager Kevin Barr agreed and added that, “you never like to have property vacant. But, if along the way another bakery would like to operate, all they would need is their business license. If a different type of company wants to do something else with the property, then they would need to talk to us here at the village to stay in compliance with zoning laws.”

Barr also added that, “after 5 years banks will be given the opportunity to take over the property, but, as with any company that would like to buy the properties, the dues will have to be paid by them.”

Mayor Montana said she isn’t sure when a new company will step in and fill the void. But one thing is certain: it has been an unexpected and abrupt end to the journey of a classic novelty snack that has its roots right here in Leyden Township.

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Schiller Park Hostess Factory, Birthplace Of Twinkie, Halts All Production