Continental Baking Company

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.[citation needed]

Continental Baking Company
TypePrivate company
IndustryFood (Bakery)
Founded1849 (Ward Baking Company)
SuccessorInterstate Bakeries Corporation, Hostess Brands
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, U.S.
Key people
Robert Boyd Ward
ProductsBrands including:
Wonder Bread,
Delivery Wagon Automobile with Ward's Tip Top bread advertisement in front of Flatiron building, New York. 1911


Robert Ward

In 1849, Robert Boyd Ward founded the Ward Baking Company in New York City. In 1921, grandson William Ward took over the company and in 1925 renamed it the Continental Baking Company.[citation needed]

Continental Baking acquired the Wagner Baking Company in Detroit, Michigan.[citation needed] In 1925 it bought Taggart Baking Company, the maker of Wonder Bread, and became 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.[citation needed]

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

Continental 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]

Twinkies were introduced by the Continental Baking Company in 1930.

Hostess Brands (the former Interstate Bakeries Corporation) closed in 2012. During the liquidation process, it again changed its name, to Old HB. An entirely new and separate entity, New HB Acquisition LLC, was established in 2013, 50% owned by HB Holdings, LLC, a venture set up by Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos and Company.[6] New HB Acquisition acquired the brand names and some plants and other assets from Old HB, then renamed itself as Hostess Brands.[citation needed]


  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.
  6. Choi, Candice (June 24, 2013). "Hostess says Twinkies will return to shelves July 15 with wider distribution". Star Tribune. Retrieved July 22, 2013.