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Hostess store ladies: We’re here to the last loaf

Monday, November 26th, 2012 | Posted by

BY CHRIS SMITH/The Press Democrat

The decades-old Hostess/Wonder bakery outlet on Sebastopol Road wasn’t the happiest place in the world when I stopped in Monday, but at least the lights are still on and the door’s open.

Employees Darlene Washington, left, and Beverly Ramirez at the Wonder/Hostess thrift store on Sebastopol Road.

“Everybody thinks we’ve closed,” lamented manager Beverly Ramirez, who has worked at the bakery thrift store for almost 29 years.

Though the huge Hostess Brands Inc has shut down bakery operations across the country, Ramirez is working with the company to keep open the landmark southwest Santa Rosa store until it has sold its last loaf of Wonder Bread – white or whole grain – or box of Hostess Donettes.

All the store’s Twinkies, Ho-Ho’s and fruit pies are gone, snatched up soon after Hostess Brands announced earlier this month that it could not come to agreement with its union bakers and would liquidate.

But when I dropped by the Sebastopol Road store Monday, there were still chocolate Hostess CupCakes, doughnuts, fruitcakes, hot dog rolls and plenty of bread.

“We’ve got Home Pride bread, white and wheat. And Colombo sandwich rolls,” said soon-t0-be-unemployed clerk Darlene Washington. “You’ll never see those on the shelf again.”

Her boss and friend Ramirez, who hired on at the outlet store in June of 1984, said tears are shed as longtime customers come in to say good-bye.

As pundits and more than 18,000 abruptly out-of-work Wonder Brands employees debate who was at fault for the company’s demise, Ramirez said Wonder has always been good to her.

“I have enjoyed working for this company. They gave me everything they promised me,” she said.

Then she prepared to tie up some helium balloons outside to alert passersby on Sebastopol Road that though Twinkies are history the old store isn’t dead yet.

The shelf-life dates on some of the doughnuts extend to the first week of December.


  • Amy

    Thanks for the tip! Went by this afternoon and picked up some Wonderbread for my parents and some Hostess cupcakes for myself and sisters. Wonderbread was 2 loaves for $1! And it freezes well. Wish these two ladies the best.

  • http://Darlene Darlene Washington

    To my boss Beverly, Andi, customers and our sales reps that were out there serving our stores and mini- marts. I would just like to say I’ve enjoyed the four years working for Hostess Brands and I will miss my boss Beverly and co-worker Andi very much. Most of all I will miss my customers very much they were wonderful. I hope to serve them again and even run into them. To all the sales reps that served the stores and mini -marts they were wonderful to work with I will miss them alot. I hope the best to them. I will say Beverly, you were the best boss anybody could ever have.. I know we will stay friends forever. I love you Beverly…

  • Kristi

    I have been going to this place since I was a young girl and since the “Bread Box” even..and I just want to say thank you to both of these women for their continued effort and hard work in keeping the Hostess Discounts Store Alive and thriving! Work it til the wheels fall off!

  • http://Darlene Darlene Washington

    I enjoyed working at the Ukiah store.. I will miss you Maria and Mary. Mary I’m so glad you and I got, to work together this week. Good luck on the future… I know you all will do well. Thank you Annette for going out of your way for me, and helping me out. Good luck to you Annette, I will never forget our drive to Oakland to our townhall meeting and our trip back. I have never laughed so hard. Farewell, to all my Ukiah girls, I enjoyed working with each and everyone of you.. Love ya, Darlene

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