|Wonder Bread, November 17, 2011|
The inevitable has happened. Hostess Brands, which includes Wonder Bread and Hostess Twinkies, is bankrupt and are closing all their operations around the US, including Home of Wonder Bread in downtown Waterloo, Iowa. Approximately 80 workers--including bakers and drivers--are losing their jobs here.
Home of Wonder Bread was built by the Continental Baking Company in 1957. This yellow brick with red accent building is a landmark, sandwiched between the Carnegie Waterloo Public Library, the orange-y building to the right, and the Waterloo Art Center (unseen) to the left. The aroma of baking bread has wafted from it for over a half a century.
Almost exactly a year ago, I drew this from my car on a chilly, windy November afternoon. My original flickr post of this drawing is here.
For local news coverage in today's Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier with some photos of Home of Wonder Bread go here.
I associate Wonder Bread and Hostess Twinkies with guilty pleasures from my childhood. Oh, those pure white, silky, flat pillows of white bread, spread with smooth Skippy peanut butter and Welch's grape jelly that I was served at my best friend's house (never at my own!). And the rituals of eating a Twinkie--the thrill of breaking open the golden spongy loaf, appreciating the inside's perfectly centered, whitest of white cream, which I'd test with the tip of my tongue, before taking a bite. But my most favorite were the Hostess Cupcakes. They were the ultimate of comfort food, with their dark thin frosting crossed by that cheerful and elegant white loopy line. Inside: flawless chocolate cake with a white cream heart. There were two schools of eating a Hostess cupcake: mine was lifting off thin wafers of frosting before taking a bite. Or my friend's: cutting to the quick with a bite to the middle--cake and frosting and cream all in one mouthful. Hostess cupcakes were the standard for chocolaty wonderfulness until, as adults, we were swept into gourmet and the likes of upscale flour-less chocolate cake decadence.