Last call for Twinkies: Chicago shoppers buy up last shipment
BY JON SEIDEL Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org December 11, 2012 10:08AM
Marian Feuling with Jewel-Osco last shipment of Hostess Twinkies, Tuesday, December 11, 2012. I John H. White~Sun-Times
Updated: January 13, 2013 6:15AM
Hundreds of Twinkies. And no limits.
On the day of the country’s final shipment of Hostess Twinkies, right here in Chicago, it was a recipe for a sellout in less than two hours at the Six Corners Jewel near Irving Park and Milwaukee.
The store received more than 600 boxes of the sugary treats to put on its shelves when it opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday. By 8 a.m., they were pretty much gone.
Daniel Rosado of Humboldt Park walked out of the store with what was thought to be the last few boxes of vanilla Zingers. Rosado, who said the chocolate versions are his favorite Hostess product, said he’ll probably open one box and put the rest away for later with an eye on the expiration dates.
“I probably won’t, like everybody else, sell them,” he said.
A few minutes later, though, store officials found a few more boxes to set out — four boxes of Twinkies and two more boxes of the vanilla Zingers — for a few lucky customers like Marian Feuling who got to pick them up in front of TV and newspaper cameras.
Feuling said she lives 10 minutes away and picked up two boxes of Twinkies for her 3-year-old grandson, as well as a box of Zingers for her son and daughter-in-law.
“This is happy, right here,” Feuling said.
Patti Crenshaw said she heard on the news it was her last chance to buy some Hostess treats, so she came right over. “I’m going to split them up and share them with everybody,” she said.
Hostess Brands, which was reorganizing in bankruptcy, shut down operations Nov. 16 after the company said a strike by bakers crippled its business to the point it had to liquidate. It sought court approval to close and sell off all its assets.
About 160 potential buyers, including at least five major retailers, have expressed interest in Hostess’ brands, recipes and some of its factories.
Hostess spokesman Lance Ignon said a deadline passed Monday for potential bidders to submit letters of interest. Hostess is evaluating what it received with the anticipation of submitting final bids to the court in January, he said.
The company shuttered 36 plants nationwide, including Twinkies’ birthplace plant in Schiller Park that employed 297 workers, and a bakery in Hodgkins where 325 people worked.
The Twinkie was created by the Schiller Park bakery manager in 1930.
The Chicago region is believed to have received the country’s last Twinkie delivery as 20,000 boxes arrived for sale Tuesday. They were offered to customers at the regular price, and there were no limits on purchases.
“They were not here long,” Karen May, public affairs manager for Jewel-Osco, said at the Six Corners store.
While the Hostess brand and recipes for Twinkie and other products likely will be purchased and the goodies could return to store shelves, Feuling’s not convinced they’ll ever taste quite the same if they do.
“We’re going to eat them and enjoy them for the holidays,” Feuling said.