Twinkies disappear fast from Naperville grocer
By Susan Frick Carlman email@example.com December 12, 2012 3:30PM
"Some of the 15 or 20 people who had waited in the cold and dark outside the Naperville Jewel Food Store at Ogden and Aurora avenues scooped up several packages of Hostess sweets, particularly focusing on the iconic Twinkie, when the store's final inventory of the packaged pastries was bought up early Wednesday morning." Submitted photo.
Updated: January 15, 2013 6:14AM
Debra Nicholas didn’t set her hopes too high. It was after 7:30 a.m., after all, by the time she turned up at the Naperville Jewel Food Store at Ogden and Aurora avenues Wednesday. That’s late in the day, reckoned in Twinkie time.
“I just came up to see what was left,” the nonetheless disappointed Naperville resident said, not all that surprised that the cylindrical baked goods were long gone. “I was hoping against hope.”
Shoppers — some 15 to 20 of them who had waited outside in the cold and dark for the store’s 6 a.m. opening — quickly scooped up the last of the last Hostess Twinkies shipped to the store. Employees said the stock of Twinkies was cleaned out by 6:20 a.m. When Nicholas arrived, all that was left on the specially designated snack-cake table were several boxes of orange-flavored cupcakes. No Ding-Dongs, Zingers or HoHo’s — and certainly nary a Twinkie.
Aurora resident Pam Hicks is accustomed to having the street to herself when she drives down Fort Hill Drive on her way in to staff one of the store’s checkout lanes at 6 a.m. On her Wednesday morning commute, the cashier wondered where all those cars behind her were going. Once her workplace came into view, she understood.
“It looked like Black Friday out there,” Hicks said. “When they came in, they just bum-rushed that table.”
Hostess Brands, which was reorganizing in bankruptcy, shut down operations Nov. 16. Company officials said a bakers’ strike had crippled business to the point they had no choice but to liquidate.
That meant those who yearn for the fluffy deliciousness of the Twinkie, with its intensely sugary ways and incredibly long shelf life, would have to stock up, or go without — for a long, long time.
Area stores reportedly exhausted their inventories of Twinkies briskly this week, but they could still be found Wednesday afternoon, via cyberspace. Assorted vendors on amazon.com were offering them, priced upward of $20 for a 10-cake box.
Nicholas, who promptly embarked on a Twinkie quest as soon as the announcement came of the bakery giant’s demise, settled for a couple of boxes of little cream-filled orange cakes with the familiar white icing looping across their tops. She said she plans to wrap them up and tuck them under the tree for her two college-age kids to find on Christmas morning.
In making the cherished sweets a holiday gift as Santa’s surrogate, she’ll be doing the HoHo one better.