‘Twinkie King’ Retires After 50 Years

ABC News’ Neal Karlinsky:

In 1959, ‘Bonanza’ was the big show on TV, Eisenhower was President and Joe Traxler, now 68, began his first day of work making Twinkies at the Seattle Hostess Bakery.

Fifty years later, the bakery is still pumping out Twinkies -- and so is Traxler.

“I've always liked Twinkies, I always will. It’s the way it is. I'm gonna eat Twinkies for the rest of my life,” he said.

Traxler never thought his life would end up inextricably linked to the Twinkie. He started what was supposed to be a two-week part-time job, mixing the Twinkie batter, and said he enjoyed the work and the job security.

To say Traxler has made a lot of Twinkies is an understatement. People at the bakery estimate he's made over a billion Twinkies over the course of his career. And each one, he takes great pride in.

“Today I make a Twinkie, tomorrow you want the same Twinkie, so you have a recipe and you adhere to it,” he explained.

Dough-mixing veteran Dwight Mahoney has been chosen to inherit Traxler's coveted slot.

“How can I compete with Joe? He's an icon,” Mahoney said, himself a nineteen year veteran.

“Joe is absolutely the pillar of the American manufacturing work force,” said Mark Silva, Hostess plant manager. “I mean 50 years, his work ethic; his values are second to none.”

It turns out, of all the sweets rolling down the line, Twinkies are actually Traxler’s second love. His favorite? The Ding Dong, which is also the nickname given to him by his wife.

Even after five decades, Traxler said the repetition didn’t phase him. Work isn't so hard, he says, when you're doing what you love.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...