In 1926, the Continental Baking Company (then the nation’s largest bakery) moved one of its Chicago plants to this location in River Forest. It was here in 1931 that James A.
Dewar, who started out as a delivery boy, hatched the idea to keep the strawberry shortcake pans in use during the off-season, when strawberries were not available. He devised a new treat by injecting a piece of shortcake with a banana cream filling, and he named his invention the “Twinkie,” after seeing an advertisement for the “Twinkle Toe Shoe Company” during a business trip to St. Louis. In 1933, the company rolled out the “Hostess Twinkie.” During the Second World War, a banana ration forced the switch to a vanilla cream center. In 2007, as part of a promotion for the “King Kong” movie remake, the company reintroduced the banana cream filling. It sold so successfully that both flavors continue to be offered today. In November 2012, however, and not because of the Twinkies, Hostess declared bankruptcy.
(Meanwhile, the folks at Hostess forever referred to James Dewar as “Mr. Twinkie.” He reputedly ate three Twinkies every night before bedtime, and he died in 1985 at the age of 88.)