The past ten years have been tough for us Clevelanders. We watched as corporate raiders squandered our 401Ks, tanked our investment portfolios, destroyed our auto industry, and buried our housing market. Adding insult to complete misery, they have now taken our beloved Hostess. Honestly, we can buy another house, find another job, even rebuild our investment deck. But we cannot recreate an American rite of passage.

For eight years now, numerous unqualified CEOs have pillaged monies meant for Hostess. Staring into the face of bankruptcy, they proceeded to reward themselves with 300 percent raises, executive bonuses, and payouts to Wall Street. The perfect storm of a debilitating labor strike coupled with ongoing corporate greed has fast-tracked this icon into Chapter 11.

There are really only two factions permanently affected here: Hostess’ 18,000-plus workers, and our taste buds. Personally, I can’t imagine a world without Twinkies, fruit pies or Ding Dongs. Not only did we all grow up on these foods, but in recent years they have undergone a successful rebirth. A variety of sweet geniuses has thrown some batter on them and dropped them in a fryer. The rock star of the bunch, deep-fried Twinkies, have been all the rage. Like Biggie Smalls, it seems they will be taken from us way before their time.

If this bankruptcy is permanent, we will have no choice but to go local. Which won’t be a loss in Northeast Ohio, where we have some awesome bakeries and pastry chefs. It will be their job to take up the mantle and create the Cleveland Twinkie. If they need some help, they can visit the defunct Twinkie factory, which now houses Zubal
Books on West 25th St.

Here’s to you, Hostess. Thanks for the memories and the prediabetes.

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