VALLEJO (KCBS) – The only remaining Hostess Bakery Outlet in the Bay Area has been donating free bread to Vallejo non-profits as the store prepares to close its doors for good.

“We’ve had a couple vans here, Salvation Army, Christian Help Center, also Genesis House which is a drug rehabilitation center,” said manager Toni McClinton.

McClinton said the donations, a thank-you for many years of patronage, would continue as long as there was bread to donate in a store whose shelves were increasingly bare. The signature Twinkies are long gone. Instead the droves of customers were loading up on donuts, cupcakes and loaves of bread.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

The Hostess Outlet on Sonoma Boulevard became a fixture in Vallejo, a place where customers got to know the employees and over the years came to think of them as family.

“Every week I come, for maybe ten years,” said Diane Conyers, because the people “are just awesome.”

Hostess Brands Inc. recently declared bankruptcy after suspending operations during a strike. The company blames the high cost of pensions and health-care obligations and a weak economy for the decision to dissolve and eliminate 18,000 jobs nationwide.

McClinton said there were once 32 stores in a district that covered much of Northern California, from Salinas and Tulare all the way up to Ukiah and out to Reno, Nevada.

“We are the last store standing,” she said, adding that even her store would not stay open much longer.

“We’re a family here and these are our customers and we’re going to miss them all.”

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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