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Tasty Baking Company To Cut 32 Jobs At Ex-Corporate HQ

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Tasty Baking Co., the maker of Tastykakes and other packaged sweets, will cut 32 jobs at its former corporate headquarters in Philadelphia, a move decided upon after it was acquired by Flower Foods Inc. this year, Tasty said Friday.

Paul Ridder, who oversees the Philadelphia operation and was a former senior vice present and chief financial officer for Tasty, said the cuts were the result of overlap and redundancies in the company. The jobs will be cut over the next few months.

"As is often the case when two publicly traded companies merge, we found overlap and redundancy in office functions," Ridder said in a statement. "While we anticipated that this would be the case, it is still very difficult not only because we appreciate the service these individuals have given our company, but because we know it affects them and their families."

He said those whose jobs are being cut will receive severance packages and the company will work with local and state agencies to help them find new jobs. Employees at the former headquarters were told Friday.

Bread maker Flowers Foods, based in Thomasville, Ga., completed its $34.4 million acquisition of Tasty in May. Flowers Foods, whose brands include Nature's Own and Bunny breads, has about 8,800 employees at its 39 bakeries.

Philadelphia-based Tasty became part of Flowers' direct-store-delivery business.

Ridder said the company would continue to employ some 700 workers in manufacturing and sales at its Navy Yard and Oxford bakery subsidiaries.

"When the merger was announced in April, we assured the community that Tastykakes will continue to be made in Philadelphia by Philadelphians, as they have been since Tasty Baking opened in

1914," he said. "Today's news does not change that. Tastykakes are being made in bakeries in Philadelphia and Oxford and our focus is on producing and delivering fresh and delicious snack cakes."

With the acquisition, Flowers began distributing Tastykakes in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. More expansion is expected in the southeast and western U.S. in the coming year.

Shares of Flowers were up nearly 1.3 percent to close Friday at $21.05 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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