Building Healthy Bodies Twelve Ways

Today’s Los Angeles Times brings a report of how Interstate Bakeries Corp. is closing the operations of Wonder Bread in Southern California. On October 29th, IBC will close all four of its Southland bread bakeries (in Glendale, Pomona, San Diego and in Los Angeles southeast of USC), as well as 17 distribution centers and 16 outlet stores. The spongy white bread will disappear from our grocery shelves. The article didn’t state if that would affect other local IBC bread brands such as Home Pride, Sun-Maid Bread, and Roman Meal. This will be a loss of around 1,300 jobs, and will cost IBC (which is in Chapter 11) about $29 million. The last bread deliveries will be on Oct. 20. IBC will continue to operate two Los Angeles bakeries that produce the company’s Hostess and Dolly Madison lines of snack cakes and doughnuts, which include Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Snowballs. Those plants employ around 840 workers.

According to the article, Wonder Bread was first marketed more than 80 years ago and has been sold in Southern California since at least the 1940s. IBC acquired the brand when it bought Continental Baking Co. from Ralston Purina Co. in 1995 for $461 million in stock and cash. I have strong memories of Wonder Bread (not that I liked it), as I recall going on tours of their downtown bakery when I was a child. It joins a whole load of other brands that have disappeared from Los Angeles shelves, such as Foremost (still around, but not big in LA), Helms Bakeries, and Adohr Farms.