AKRON, Ohio -- Friday's announcement by Hostess that it was closing its doors for good had customers at the company's bakery outlet in Akron scrambling to get what was left of their favorite treats.
Customers were cleaning shelves bare of the remaining Twinkies, Ho Ho's and Ding Dongs, treats that have been a staple of lunch pails for generations.
"My childhood is gone," lamented Carol Moody of Akron. "These were things when your parents would bring them home it was like a big treat to you, and now that part of childhood is gone."
"We live on them. My kids, that's all they say, 'Grandma, you stopping and getting us a hostess?'" said Gloria Rollison.
Hostess blames its demise on a strike by members of a bakers union.
The headline on the company's website reads simply, "Hostess Brands is Closed."
The company explains that the wind down means the closure of 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes and 570 bakery outlet stores throughout the United States.
It also impacts more than 18,000 employees who are now out of work.
"I think the bakers union should go ahead and take a cut and go ahead and open it just for the people that need it," said Janet Mounts, grateful to have been able to buy bread and other baked goods at a discount through the Canton Road outlet.
Another customer, who asked not to be identified, stood up for the union's decision not to accept the company's last and best offer.
"I think taking their pension away and making them take more cuts when everybody is taking cuts everywhere is horrible," she said.
A Hostess bakery that had been filling the downtown air with the smell of fresh baked bread since 1923 was closed in 2010.
About 100 local employees lost their jobs when Hostess consolidated its Ohio baking operations.
Hostess says it will sell off its corporate assets, including the familiar brand names of its snacks, which may surface again baked by another company.
But customers on Friday were grabbing what they can just in case they never see Twinkies, Ho Ho's, Zingers or Ding Dongs again.
"It's like, 'Oh my goodness! Now what am I going to do?'" said Moody. "I'm not going to start baking bread again, I'll tell you that."