Hostess bankruptcy forces Vt. stores to close - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Hostess bankruptcy forces Vt. stores to close

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ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. -

They're the hostesses with the mostesses at the Hostess outlet store in St. Johnsbury. Cindy Chamberlin and Darleen Brown have worked a combined 38 sweet years at this store.

"We've worked as a team because we enjoy this job and we just love it," Chamberlin said.

And the customers seem to love them almost as much as all the Twinkies, Ho Hos and Funny Bones in the store.

"They recognize us everywhere," Brown said. "Little kids will recognize us in a store and say there's the Twinkie ladies!"

"The ladies that work here, they're always so friendly and great to talk to," said Dyanna Thresher of East St. Johnsbury.

Thresher has been shopping at this discount outlet for the past 25 years. But today is her last trip. This store, along with 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers and 570 other Hostess outlet stores throughout the U.S., is closing. The company declared bankruptcy. That means 1,800 people are losing their jobs, including Chamberlin and Brown, and 13 workers at the Hostess outlet in Brattleboro.

"We're a small community and the fact we're closing this could be a big impact," said Brooke Chamberlain of St. Johnsbury.

"Disappointing, frustrated, anger-- all of the above," Cindy Chamberlin said.

Doors close forever Saturday at noon and the store hopes to sell everything, offering even deeper discounts than usual.

At this outlet store they sell more than just Hostess products. They sell Drake's, which makes Devil Dogs and Wonder Bread, which they say they've been sold out of for more than two weeks now.

"I stock up on bread, doughnuts and Devil Dogs; those are my favorite," said Tommie Rodger of Newark.

Daniel Weiner, a student at Lyndon State, is back for 50 more boxes of Twinkies after selling a lot on eBay for more than $90.

Daniel Weiner: Ten boxes of Twinkies and they were two for $4 here.

Reporter Gina Bullard: Do you think that's crazy?

Daniel Weiner: It is. It's hijacking American emotions on something that's happening, but this is it, the end of the road for Hostess.

The Twinkie twins say the community relies on these discounted goods.

"So many people need these stores to feed their families," Chamberlin said. "I feel like I've let them down. I really do because they need these stores.

A bittersweet day for this Northeast Kingdom staple.

Hostess said in court that it's in talks with 110 potential buyers for its brands. But as of now, there is no plan to reopen any of the stores.

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