Local Businesses Struggle To Stock Shelves After Hostess Closes

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WELLSVILLE - Small business owners in Wellsville felt the effects Monday of the Hostess closing through a lack of a permanent bread supplier.

This includes Brian Maskey, who co-owns Dairy Mart, a quaint fast food restaurant with a vintage feel that has been in business since the early 1960's.

Maskey said the loss has created new problems for stores in the community that normally sell bread, which include Dairy Mart and the local grocery store.

Before it closed, Hostess delivered all of the bread products Maskey purchased directly to Dairy Mart. But owners are finding it difficult to replace the company as a supplier.

Now, the grocery store shelves, which are normally full of bread products, from sandwich bread to hot dog buns to baked goods, hold only a few loaves. The same is true of the racks in the Dairy Mart kitchen.

Since the local stores don't sell large quantities of bread compared to larger corporations like Sam's or Walmart, Maskey said other bread companies have been less willing to deliver to the small community. So, Maskey is forced to drive an hour or more to purchase bread for his business, which he then freezes to use later.

"The quality of the bread goes down a whole bunch when you have to go to other places and bring it back and freeze it. We don't like freezing any sort of bread product, but to make it last we have to," Maskey said.

 Maskey said he will have to keep making these trips until he finds a replacement supplier. This means more work for owners, which could turn into increased costs for customers.

Maskey said he has contacted one company that agreed to deliver bread to the town, but has no idea when that bread will actually make it to Wellsville.