When the Mission had its own Twinkie factory

Brock from SFist takes a look back:

If you lived in the Mission along Bryant and 18th prior to 2005, as we did for many years before evacuating to SOMA, you might recall that magical scent emanating from the Hostess Cake / Wonder Bread factory at 1525 Bryant. Yeasty, jammy, and sweet. The youth-kissed scent was such a staple of the area that SF Weekly awarded the factory “Best Place to Be Fondly Reminded of Your S.F. Childhood” in 2003.

As of today, it’s possible Hostess might completely cease to exist as a brand. Read on.

(Incidentally, last week I had a vegan “Twinkie” from Source, which is basically right around the corner from this place, and it was killer, so no worries really.)

[Photo by ptufts]


16 thoughts on “When the Mission had its own Twinkie factory”

  1. Is this where U-Haul rental place is now? I’m confused by the reference to Bryant and 18th, since the 1500 addresses are over on 15th street.

  2. >no worries really.

    C’mon now. It’s fun to write with a voice that says “this is a lighthearted and kind of silly blog,” but I think you just told us that there’s “no worries” when 18,500 people get laid off as long as you can still eat a vegan twinkie.

      1. A good article, thanks for the heads-up. I’ve been so annoying by the awful reporting and anti-union propaganda that has dominated most articles that I’d pretty much given up hope of finding anything meaningful in the news.

  3. Should be 15th. Must be a typo. 18th and Bryant was home to another of the area’s iconic scents from days gone by – the Best Foods factory where mayonnaise was made. Not only more pungent than the Hostess bakery, the aroma spread to encompass most of the eastern Mission and western Potrero Hill. And not only was it a pervasive smell, but on foggy nights (of which there are a few here) fine droplets of oil would be exuded from the smokestack, mixing with the fog and forming it’s very own type of greasy residue. Mayog? Ah the charms of days gone by!

    1. Wow! Thanks for the history lesson. As someone who lives around the corner from here, I’m now somewhat thankful that our neighborhood no longer smells like pungent mayo… Sorry, factory workers.

  4. Strike-breaking tactics. I’m sorry for the workers, but only as sorry as I would be for people who were put out of work if a cigarette company went out of business. Making a living out of death is a bad life.

    1. Automobile workers, butchers, lumberjacks, PG&E employees, fishermen… the list goes on. Sad fact is that if the only people who had jobs were those in the life-supporting professions, unemployment would be around 75%.

  5. The factory had a big inlet on the side of the building where trucks full of corn syrup would connect and pump out their loads. There was a large trail of nastiness from the inlet across the sidewalk to the curb.

  6. I totally remember this! I used to work at Showplace Square West and every afternoon, I would take our bulk mail down Alameda Street to the post office on Bryant. The scented air from the factory was both mildly repulsive and tantalizing. Sometimes we could even smell it through the windows of the office.

    And I agree that the anti-union blaming for the bankruptcy is so disappointing and unsurprising. I was so disappointed to see Teamsters bashing the grain millers union, and blaming them in the news. I know the situations and negotiations are complicated, but I would at least like to see unions get on the same page and blame the corporate d-bags for the closure of the business, not fellow workers.

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