Hostess to close New York bakery

by Jeff Gelski
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DALLAS – Hostess Brands, Inc. will close its Wonder Bread bakery in Jamaica, N.Y., on Jan. 7, 2011. The bakery, a 100,000-square-foot facility built in the 1870s, has about 200 plant and transport employees. The bakery produces Wonder Bread Classic, other Wonder varieties, Beefsteak Breads, Home Pride varieties and private label breads.

The facility is in need of modernization, an undertaking that would be difficult and expensive given the age and configuration of the facility, according to Hostess Brands, based in Dallas. Hostess Brands sales and retail personnel will continue to serve area customers with bread and snack cake products sourced from Hostess bakeries in Philadelphia; Wayne, N.J.; and Biddeford, Maine.

“It’s always a difficult decision to close one of our facilities, but during this slow economic recovery we must carefully evaluate all options and take prudent steps to make our system more efficient and balance productivity and demand,” said Brian Driscoll, chief executive officer of Hostess Brands.

The Jamaica bakery originally operated as Shults Bread Company. It was sold to William Ward’s United Bakeries in 1921. The company was renamed Continental Baking Co. in 1925. Interstate Bakeries Corp., now Hostess Brands, Inc., purchased the bakery in 1995.

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