Hostess employee blasts company as it reaches end of the line

CREATED Nov 16, 2012 - UPDATED: Nov 16, 2012

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GREENDALE- Twinkies may not last forever after all as Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of the spongy snack with a mysterious cream filling, said Friday it would shutter after years of struggling with management turmoil, rising labor costs and the ever-changing tastes of Americans even as its pantry of sugary cakes seemed suspended in time.

"My stomach turned upside down," says soon-to-be terminated Hostess employee Michael Hollowell of Greendale.  "We did everything we could do on our behalf."

Some of Hostess beloved brands such as Ding Dongs and Ho Ho's likely will be snapped up by buyers and find a second life, but for now the company says its snack cakes should be on shelves for another week or so.

More than 18,000 workers believed the company would pull through.

"I didn't see this coming," says Hollowell to Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure."

It's a sober end to a storied company as Hostess, whose roster of brands dates as far back as 1888, hadn't invested heavily in marketing or innovation in recent years as it struggled with debt and management changes.

"We took all type of concessions to help this company survive," explains Hollowell, who had some unkind final words for Hostess' management.  "Thanks a lot for destroying all these jobs."

Hollowell says he isn't sure what he's going to do for work and provide for his family.