Hostess Brands, Inc. (formerly Interstate Bakeries Corporation (IBC)) is the largest wholesale baker and distributor of fresh bakery products in the United States, and is the owner of the Hostess, Wonder Bread, Nature's Pride, Dolly Madison, Butternut Breads, and Drake's brands. For many years it was based at 12 East Armour Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri. After it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009 it moved to Irving, Texas.
Ralph Leroy Nafziger founded Interstate in 1930 in Kansas City as a wholesaler selling bread loaves wrapped in gingham wrapping to grocery stores. In 1937 Interstate merged with the Chicago baker Schulze Baking Company.
In 1943 it acquired Supreme Baking Company in Los Angeles. In 1950 it bought O'Rourke Baking Company of Buffalo, New York.
In the 1950s and early 1960s purchases included Ambrosia Cake Company, the Remar Baking Company, the Butter Cream Baking Company, Campbell-Sell Baking Company, the Kingston Cake Bakery, Cobb's Sunlit Bakery, Schall Tasty Baking Company, Sweetheart Bread Company, and Hart's Bakeries.
In the late 1960s it acquired Millbrook Bread, Baker Canning Company, Shawano Farms, Inc. and the Shawano Canning Company.
In 1969 it changed its name to Interstate Brands. Its signature brands were Butternut and Blue Seal breads, and Dolly Madison cakes. Butternut Breads was a manufacturer of bread products that had been in business since 1902.
In 1975 it was acquired by Data Processing Financial and General Corporation, known as DPF, a computer leasing company, that ran into difficulties with IBM during the period of the IBM antitrust battles). As a result, DPF was interested in changing business models, and using its cash to take over a low-tech company. The merged company, with headquarters in Hartsdale, New York, took the name, "DPF," until the divestiture of the remaining technology assets. At that point, it changed the company name back to Interstate.
Full article ▸