Hostess Customers as Shocked as Employees About Company Closure
As Hostess fans flock to the Manchester Road store to purchase the tasty treats before the doors close, they and employees say they're shocked by the news of the shut down.
Friday's announcement by Hostess that it will shut down comes after the company issued striking bakery workers an ultimatum earlier this week. The employees did not return to work so the company said it is closing down.
(Read Previous Story: Manchester Road Hostess Closing, Employees Learn on The News)
The West County Hostess store, located at 13885 Manchester Rd., was busy Friday as customers flocked to grab their favorite treats.
"Absolutely crazy," said store manager Patty Bartholome who said she had lines half-way through the store Friday.
Bartholome said she's worked for the company for 19 years and had no idea the company was closing until she heard it on the news. She said she and other employees don't even know their last day.
"Nobody knows right now. I've tried to call my boss. I can't get a hold of him. I don't have any answers, nobody does," Bartholome said. "When the doors are locked, I won't come in any more. That's probably how they will do it us."
Customers who heard the news of the Hostess shut down, couldn't believe it.
"I was just shocked because, you know, we grew up on it. It's been a staple in our household," explained Fenton resident Robin Whitney who said she's shopped at the Manchester Road location, near Mason Road, for almost six years. "I didn't even think about the stores closing."
"I can't believe it. It's always been around, since I remember. I mean, I'm 35," added Jennifer Melton, another Fenton resident stocking up at the Manchester Road store Friday.
"It's kind of sad. It's one of those things that when you think about it, it's one of those long-standing businesses going under and I feel bad for the workers," Melton said. "It's like Chrysler, when Chrysler went under. So I thought I'd come make one last visit and wish them well."
The Hostess employees were on the minds of many of the customers at the West County store Friday. Bartholome said that location houses approximately 36 to 40 employees.
Ballwin resident Bettye Vint tells Patch, she was surprised it came to this and that the employees and the company did not reach an agreement.
"It saddens me to hear that the workers did not want to return to work, taking into consideration that this is the holiday season," Vint said. "I'd rather have a job than no job."
She agrees with other customers that the news overall is just simply sad to hear.
"It's kind of devastating...they've been around for so many years. They have a history behind them, a story behind them," Vint said. She also said she'll miss shopping at the West County store because it has good prices and she just likes the food.
A sentiment shared by other customers gathering last-minute items at the store Friday.
"Got to get some cupcakes and they're all gone," Ron Mercer added.