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R.I.P. St. Louis Hostess Plant; Most Delicious Field Trip EVER!

Categories: WTF?
twinkie gang.jpg
For every dozen Twinkies the employees scooped off the conveyor belt, two or three more would get past them and drop into a plastic garbage can at the end of the line. It was a girl in our class who asked the tour guide what happened to those Twinkies. I'm not sure if our Hostess host was new to her job, but the following is not something you tell a group of elementary school students within arm's reach of their favorite junk food.

"Those Twinkies are sold to farmers and fed to hogs."

Fed to hogs!? The blasphemy! No sooner had the words left our tour guide's lips than half the kids in our class rushed the conveyor belt and furiously began stuffing their faces with Twinkies. We had to. It was that or let the spongy yellow goodness end up as pig slop.

Alarm bells rang. Mrs. Robin freaked out. Parent chaperones grabbed us by the scruff and tossed us back toward the factory floor. The foreman on the Twinkie belt shut down the line. And our gracious, but clearly frazzled, tour guide quickly wrapped up our visit.

Yet unlike the bad children visiting Willy Wonka's candy factory, we were rewarded all the same. Each of us got a Hostess treat of his or her choosing to eat before boarding the bus for the journey back to school.

I remember sitting toward the back of the bus -- enjoying the sugar buzz of a Twinkie -- when we passed by the old Vess bottling plant in north St. Louis. It was the first time I'd ever seen the gigantic soda bottle that stood outside the plant. I remember thinking to myself then, "Wow. St. Louis has a Hostess factory and what has to be the biggest soda bottle in the world? This place is pretty sweet."

Thirty years later I still think the same, even if we're losing some of our flavor with the closure of the Hostess plant.

R.I.P. Ding Dong Palace. You'll always survive -- in our memories.

P.S. Do you have your own favorite memory of the Hostess bakery? Leave it in the comments section.

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11 comments
krb3
krb3

I worked at the Hostess plant for over 20 years. It has provided a good living for me and my family. But, I have given up a lot during those years also. I missed family events, funerals, and weddings due to the strict work schedules at Hostess. We worked lousy hours, weekends, and every holiday on the calendar. I, for one, voted to accept the last and final offer given to the bakers. And to see the media making light of the closing of Hostess is very sad indeed.

barefootpirate
barefootpirate

As I understand it, Hostess Brands is bankrupt due to employee pensions.  Unions negotiated lofty pensions for the workers, now the company can't pay out all of the pensions.  I think this is going to be more common as the baby boomers start retiring.

Spectrum1
Spectrum1

What a shame they believe that workers who are deserving of better pay are the REASON the plant is closing and Bankrupt, Like Donald Trump its the new contract breaking tool, and now they attempt to make the bakery employees the scapegoat, maybe if your food stuff wasnt the most fattening substance on earth I would feel sorry for the Hostess Brands, But I think you should give the worker who makes your brand succesful, its not wages that have upset the pastry cart its GREED...

Robert Winkelmann
Robert Winkelmann

Since the layoffs are because of spite and not company conditions they can shut their plant down and I am shutting down every purchasing their brand again. There is no irony in the fact that the executives of said company attempted to give themselves 75% raises back in June and would have had the court not stopped them. If you have money to give yourself a monumental raise in pay you have enough to not ask your employees to take a 30% cut in pay and benefits. Goodbye Hostess. You're no longer welcome in my house.

Leslee Brown
Leslee Brown

well sad about the lost jobs but not about the loss of worthless junk food

Jason Brock
Jason Brock

@Darrell - The Union didn't screw the people, Management was screwing them! Learn the facts.

NewsDog
NewsDog

If you grew up in the Dallas area it was the tour of the Mrs. Bairds bakery plant. And if you lived in the area and the wind was just right you could smell the warm yeasty bread for blocks.  

jonnyfogel
jonnyfogel

What a shame! I still remember the room at the end of the tour where they gave you samples. They had a terrarium built into one wall with a lizard in it that they told us was THE Chocodile!

Bambi Zj Baker
Bambi Zj Baker

That place was fat enabling good riddance sorry for the loss of jobs but still those jerks never considered sugar free or whole grain and so on they brought them out once then took them back by saying they didn't sell well I call BS

Adam Woehler
Adam Woehler

I remember the field trip they let us try a new treat called the Chocodile!

Drew Caplan
Drew Caplan

That crap sucked and made me a fat kid. Good riddance. Segregation was a part of our childhoods too but I'm not going to get nostalgic about it either. When we were small, they still made actual cake. In the last decade, their product has devolved to a wad of corn product. For fattening cattle, uh er, people.

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