Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

November 17, 2012

Hostess wraps up business

Merita shuts doors after snack manufacturer motions to liquidate

VALDOSTA — Hostess may have its headquarters in Irving, Texas, but the impact of its bankruptcy has hit close to home.

Merita Bread Bakery Outlet, a Hostess products carrier on North Oak Street, is closing up shop as a result of the snack manufacturer’s motion to liquidate, which it filed Friday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The store was offering a 50 percent off clearance discount to customers Friday, and the business will close Saturday.

Hostess products line the shelves in Merita, ranging from famous childhood snacks like the pink coconut Snoballs and Twinkies to breakfast cereals, Toaster Pastries, cookies and the Hostess version of the Fig Newton. Merita sold snack boxes Friday for $1.20 each and snack cakes at a deal of seven for $2.45.

Not all of the products sold by Merita are Hostess brand, but enough of them are to put the little shop out of business. Employees and owners declined to comment about the number of jobs that will be lost or the impact the bankruptcy will have on the workers, but owners at the neighboring convenience store Oak Foods estimates between two and five were employed by the store.

Three Merita delivery trucks were parked outside Friday, giving the impression that loads of product were being moved. Printed signs hung on the door, reading “Closing Sale 50 percent off all product Saturday.”

The cashier, who wished to remain anonymous, said the shop was notified of Hostess’s bankruptcy Friday morning, and that she has not had enough time to consider her new problem of finding work.

The closure of Hostess means the loss of 18,500 jobs, 33 factories and 500 bakery outlet stores nationwide—Merita being just one of hundreds.

The company’s decision to liquidate comes after a battle with thousands of union workers who went on strike last week, rejecting a contract offer that slashed wages and benefits. The union workers on strike represent about 30 percent of the company’s workforce.

Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, the second time in less than three years. The company has struggled through issues with high pension, wages and medical costs related to its unionized workforce.

While liquidation could mean the purchase of one or several of Hostess’s popular brand names, including Twinkies, CEO Greg Rayburn told the press no buyers were showing an interest in rescuing the company.

Andrea Schruijer, Executive Director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority, is sad to see any business go, and feels Merita’s closure is a strong example of how large industry can have nationwide influence.

“It’s unfortunate when a large company like this, which has been open a long time and has a large number of employees in Texas closes, and we see those trickle down effects,” Schruijer said. “It’s just indicative of how large companies represent throughout the nation as it relates to logistics and distribution.”

While less than five jobs will be lost in Valdosta, Schruijer feels that is still too many.

“Every job is important, whether it’s two jobs or 200 jobs,” Schruijer said. “They’re still important to the community.”

Text Only
Local News
  • 140415-water003.jpg Sewage problems persist

    Early Tuesday morning, Valdosta became saturated when the area received approximately three inches of rain from 4 a.m. to noon. As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 manholes throughout the City of Valdosta have spilled 286,500 gallons of wastewater into local waterways, and this number will continue to rise.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • vsuopera1dido.jpg Operatic Conclusion

    When the curtain lowers this weekend on Valdosta State University Opera’s performance of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” it will not only mark the end of the music group’s season.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘If I Were Mayor’ contest essays

    If I were mayor, I would do all that I possibly can to make the city of Valdosta marvelous, but I cannot do it on my own. Some things in Valdosta I feel it is necessary to focus on would be our literacy rate, unemployment rate, crime history, and our environment.

    April 16, 2014

  • APTOPIX Boston Marath_Stew.jpg Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

    Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city’s resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-valdostaboe001 copy.jpg Valdosta Board of Education reviews finances

    Valdosta City Schools Board of Education celebrated many successes Monday night, discussed budget information and heard an announcement of intent from a hopeful charter school.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • dancing with the stars copy.jpg Dancing with Valdosta Stars raises scholarship money

    Valdosta State University Music and Theatre & Dance’s Third Annual Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta presented a fine dance show this past weekend.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • N0041120.jpg Passover: A nation reborn

    “And you shall tell your children that on that day the Lord has took you out from the house of bondage.” — The Passover Hagadah

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-DFCS001.jpg Luncheon recognizes DFACS employees

    Dozens of Lowndes County Division of Family and Children Services employees gathered Monday at Olympic Park for a barbecue lunch in recognition of their hard work.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-Sewage002.jpg Fla. calls for Valdosta boycott

    Florida residents are calling for a boycott of Valdosta regarding the sewage spills, with areas affected downstream increasingly distressed over the millions of gallons that have polluted the waters of the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee River Basin during the last several years.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • police-lights-backgrounds-for-powerpoint.jpg ‘Dangerous’ fugitive caught

    A fugitive from Ohio wanted for attempted murder and a number of assault and robbery charges was captured by Valdosta police Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

Top News

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results