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Hostess Closing Plants, Selling Brands

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BERWICK-- An iconic snack cake company will soon be no more.

Hostess Brands, maker of Twinkies, Ho-Hos and more announced Friday a baker's union strike has forced the company to stop all operations.

Hostess Brands is selling off its assets. Presumably, that includes a small plant the company operated in Columbia County.

The announcement means Hostess Brands will close dozens of bakeries, and hundreds of distribution centers and outlet stores across the country and even some in Pennsylvania.

The iconic Twinkies, the snack cake jokingly said to last forever, could soon be a thing of the past.

Hostess Brands said a baker's union strike has forced the company to start shutting down and selling its popular brands, including Drakes and of course, Hostess, maker of Twinkies.

"They were treats for us. There were five kids in my family and we were kind of poor, so when my mom bought Twinkies, it was a treat. We didn't have them every day or always in the house. That kind of stuff was special," said Mary Force of Berwick.

Hostess facilities like the one in Berwick will also be closed.

Back in May, the company informed the state it planned to close the plant and lay off nine employees at the Berwick facility and more than 500 at a dozen other plants across Pennsylvania.

Nationwide, the company said it will close 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers and 570 bakery outlet stores.

Officials said most of the 18,500 employees will be laid off.

"Changing times, competition, it`s hard for businesses to stay in business. It`s sad, but that`s just the way it is today. I feel bad for people who are going to lose their jobs," added Force.

At Boyer`s Food Markets in Berwick, you can still find Twinkies, Donettes, Yodels and more on the shelves, but they are going fast.

Customers said they will certainly miss their favorite snacks.

"Oh yes, my favorite was the Funny Bones. Yes, that would be my favorite, the chocolate," said Ed Neidig of Berwick, who said the best part was the satisfaction of eating them.

Duke Fletcher made sure to stock up on his favorite white powdered Donettes.

"I`ve tried all kinds of different ones, but these are my favorite. I`m going to, before they go out, I`m going to have to buy a case of them. Hopefully they can freeze them. I don`t know if you can freeze them or not, but I`m going to have to try," said Duke Fletcher of Berwick.

Hostess Brands said it will continue to deliver products and retail stores will be open for several days to sell off all the already-baked snacks.