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Hostess Brands to end operations, lay off 18,500 workers

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Twinkies will soon be gone from store shelves for good. Hostess Brands is closing its production plants and laying off thousands of workers.

Here in Austin hostess fans are in mourning.

"All the snack cakes? No! Are you serious? My brother is gonna have a fit," said Jasmine Bell.

The iconic Twinkie invented in 1930 and other favorites like Ding Dongs, Sno Balls and Zingers are gone.

On Friday morning Hostess Brands announced it filed bankruptcy and closed its plants.

LINK: Hostess Announcement

"It's just really a favorite childhood thing. You know what I mean. It's really sad they have to go away," said Monica Ramirez.

Shoppers all around the country hit stores to stock up. We checked dozens of places in Austin only to find empty shelves. If you want one, EBay seems to be the best hope. Three boxes are currently going for $67 dollars, but priced as high as $2.5 million.

"Hostess Twinkies are one of the things that were always in our cupboard," said Marty Munden.

219 West Owner Marty Munden loves Twinkies so much he put them on his menu.

"We sell 30-35 of them a night," he said.

The Twinkies he serves up are covered in a sweet batter, deep fried and topped with powdered sugar. A raspberry dipping sauce comes on the side.

"It tastes like a cream filled funnel cake from the fair," he said.

Munden says he stocked up, worried this day would come. Now he will search for the replacement.

"We are going to miss the Twinkie," he said.

Meanwhile, 18,500 workers who made the tasty treat are now out of a job. Some had been on strike after disapproving of a company plan to cut wages and benefits.

Hostess Brands CEO Gregory Rayburn threatened liquidation if workers did not return Thursday.

"The problem is that we don't have enough crossing those lines to maintain normal production to keep our customers in stock," Rayburn said. "If you don't like the package, totally understand that is your right. But go back to work. Don't put other people out of work. Don't make other people go home and explain to their families why they have no job and no unemployment and add that to 23 million other unemployed people in this country. Go back to work and then find another job. If you don't like it you can leave."

The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, released a fact sheet in response to the shutdown saying "the reason the company is liquidating is because of striking workers. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reason Hostess Brands is liquidating is because of over a decade of mismanagement."

The outcome will make for a lot of sad kids and kids at heart.

"What are we going to have for snacks now? I'll get over it. I'm in shock," Bell said.

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