Future of South Boston Hostess Store Could Hit Area Hard
South Boston, VA - The potential liquidation of Hostess - known for some of America's favorite snacks - is hitting close to home for folks in South Boston.
The Merita Bakery Thrift Store on Hamilton Boulevard is a Hostess subsidiary location. Now, the store will be closing its doors if the company follows through with plans to shut down.
The store provided baked goods from 40 to 50% off. It also provided jobs for six employees who learned with the rest of the world on Friday that the company they worked for was moving toward liquidation.
Since Saturday, the already discounted items in the Merita Bakery Thrift Shop have been an additional 50 % off.
Their popular breads and snacks have been flying off the shelves but once it's all gone, the store will close for good.
"I knew it was coming. It was just a matter of time and I think they should have tried to save it more," said customer Frank Bishop.
Bishop is close to some of the employees at the store. He disagrees with Hostess choosing to close , eliminating more than 18,000 jobs across the country, after not being able to come to an agreement with the BCTGM Baker's Union.
"I think it's a crying shame all these people lost their jobs. The union is fighting and the big wheels can't get together and I think it's just a crying shame," Bishop said.
For the customers who look forward to the convenience and discounts they get at the thrift bakery, this is a big loss.
"It's meant a lot to people in Southside and live in Clarksville, but I come up here to buy so, that's quite a distance," customer Garnett Miller explained.
"Sometimes it's nice to come in a small store and not have to go into a big store to get what you need," customer Renay Wilborn added.
The future of Hostess' famous snacks is up in the air as rumors swirl about a new company acquiring the brand.
As the most popular snacks sell on Ebay for more than twice their retail value, it's obvious that folks are not ready to let them go.
"The items like the Ho-Ho's and the Twinkies...that's very popular. People are going to miss that," said Ann Garnett Miller, another customer at the store.
The decision to liquidate came after union workers went on strike alleging that the company wanted to cut wages by 8 %.
Hostess officials could not be reached for comment, but Monday afternoon, Hostess and Union officials agreed to enter mediation at a judge's request.
For more information on the status of Hostess Brands, click here.