Twinkie returns to Emporia, brings jobs with it

twinkies

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It’s a sweet return for the iconic American treat – the Twinkie is back on shelves Monday.

Emporia, home of one of the reopened plants, hosted a Twinkie festival welcoming the dessert’s return.

“I just like that it’s sweet, and it’s soft and spongy,” says Heidi Cooper, who won the Twinkie eating contest at the festival.

Everyone has a reason for loving it, but in Emporia the Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever means more than just having the iconic treats within arm’s reach again.

“It doesn’t happen very often that when a plant closes, it reopens as the same type of operation so we’re so fortunate and blessed that that happened,” says President of the Emporia Regional Development Association, Kent Heermann.

He adds, with the return comes opportunity.

“They started hiring people in the middle of April, and as of this coming Monday they’ll have 305 employees out there,” Heermann says. “That’s incredible in a short 100 days if you think about it.”

Emporians are happy Hostess is back.

“We were sad when it left,” says Suzanne Goeckler, “We noticed the population go down and people weren’t here, so we’re excited to have it back and have some activity on this side of town again.”

Goeckler shares this moment in history with her two children.

“The kids had no idea what a Twinkie was so I showed them this morning and they wanted to make a costume and dress up like a Twinkie.”

Whether you’re reuniting with an old favorite or trying it for the first time,

“It’s pretty amazing, pretty nice, I live in the home of the Twinkies,” Cooper says.

“It’s nice for emporia and kind of funny to be known as a Twinkie town but it’s fun,” Goeckler adds.

Heermann says the jobs created by reopening the plant will bring more than $11 million in payroll back into the economy.

Hostess is using the Emporia location as its Flagship plant, which means it is the largest factory.

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