Continental Baking Company

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Continental Baking Company
Private company
Industry Food (Bakery)
Successor Interstate Bakeries Corporation, Hostess Brands
Founded 1849 (Ward Baking Company)
Defunct 1995
Headquarters New York City, New York, U.S.
Key people
Robert Boyd Ward
Products Brands including:
Wonder Bread,

The Continental Baking Company was one of the first bakeries to introduce fortified bread. It was the maker of the Twinkie and Wonder Bread.

Through a series of acquisitions and mergers it became part of the former Hostess Brands company.


Twinkies were introduced by the Continental Baking Company in 1930.

The bakery was founded in New York City by Robert Boyd Ward in 1849 as the Ward Baking Company. In 1921 William Ward, the grandson of Robert, took over the company.

He renamed it the Continental Baking Company in 1925.

Continental Baking acquired the Wagner Baking Company in Detroit, Michigan. In 1925 bought Taggart Baking Company, the maker of Wonder bread, and become the largest commercial bakery in the United States.[1] Twinkie snack cakes were invented in 1930 in Schiller Park, Illinois, by James Alexander Dewar, a baker at Continental Baking Company. In 1964 Continental expanded operations by acquiring Mexican bread manufacturer Tip Top, based in Mexico City.

Continental was based in New York from 1923 to 1984.[2] It also had its executive offices in Hoboken, New Jersey.[3]


It was purchased by ITT in 1968, then sold to Ralston Purina in 1984.[4] It was purchased by Interstate Bakeries Corporation in 1995. The combined company was rebranded Hostess Brands in 2009.[5]

On 16 November 2012, Hostess Brands announced the parent corporation would be closing, and its brand names' rights would be sold off.


  1. ^ "Ward Baking Company Historical Site. Continental Baking Company, known for its Hostess and Wonder tradenames, was one of the companies founded as part of the Ward Baking Company business". Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  2. ^ Jackson, K.T.; Keller, L.; Flood, N. (2010). The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300182576. Retrieved 2015-05-14. 
  3. ^ Antoinette Martin (May 16, 2004). "In the Region/New Jersey; Another Part of Hoboken Is Luring Developers". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 September 2016. 
  4. ^ Whitten, D.O.; Whitten, B.E. (1990). Manufacturing: A Historiographical and Bibliographical Guide. Greenwood Press. p. 51. ISBN 9780313251986. Retrieved 2015-05-14. 
  5. ^ "IBC to Change Name to Hostess Brands, Inc". Reuters. 2009-11-02. 

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