Hostess to close baking facility in Ohio

by Eric Schroeder
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DALLAS — Hostess Brands, Inc. will close its bread bakery in Akron, Ohio, due to market conditions and operations efficiencies. The company expects to halt production at the bakery, which has been open since 1923, by June 25.

Hostess said it employs approximately 100 people at the Akron bakery as well as about 400 sales and retail personnel in the region. The company said the sales and retail personnel will not be affected by the bakery closing and will continue to serve the marketplace with bread products produced at Hostess Brands’

Northwood, Ohio, bakery. The company’s office operations will continue in Akron.

“While closing a bakery is always a difficult decision, it’s important that we continue to shape our business to meet the demands of the marketplace,” said Craig Jung, chief executive officer. “I appreciate the years of dedicated service and hard work by our employees and deeply regret the impact this news will have on them and their families. We will make every reasonable effort to make this transition as smooth as possible.”

In addition to changes in local market conditions, Hostess cited the age of the facility, which it said would have made it difficult and expensive to modernize production equipment at the plant.

The announcement comes a little less than a year after Hostess closed its Columbus, Ohio, bakery, and would leave the company with 38 bakeries.

According to the 2009 Baking/Snack Directory & Buyers Guide, the Akron facility made bread under the Wonder, Wonder Light, Home Pride, and Beefsteak brands, and had annual sales of approximately $25 million.

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