That is, until Flowers came along and saved the day.
Besides paying $34.4 million in cash, Flowers will assume more than $131 million in Tasty debt - which could be good news for Pennsylvania taxpayers, since about half the borrowed funds for the new plant are owed to state programs.
"This is a great announcement for Tasty Baking and the city of Philadelphia," Mayor Nutter said of the 97-year-old company. "The Tasty name is secure; all of the public investment from the city and the state is secure. This is a very, very positive outcome."
Flowers, a past owner of the former Mrs. Smith's plant in Pottstown, said that the Navy Yard bakery and Tasty's second plant in Oxford, Chester County, will stay open. No job cuts are expected, the companies said.
"This merger ensures that Tastykakes will continue to be made by Philadelphians in Philadelphia," Charles Pizzi, chief executive of Tasty Baking Co., said in a news release.
Flowers hopes to expand its geographic reach by selling brands like Nature's Own in the Philadelphia area and selling Tastykakes in the Southeast and Southwest. Its chief executive seemed equally confident that Tasty jobs will stay in Philly.
"We are delighted to welcome Tasty's 740 dedicated employees and 413 independent sales distributors to the Flowers Foods family," said George Deese, chairman and CEO of Flowers Foods.
"Our plans are to invest in the combined business for sustainable and profitable growth, and they will be an important part of Flowers' ongoing success."
Nutter discussed the matter with Pizzi and is expected to talk with representatives from Flowers. He said that although he doesn't know many details about the impact on jobs, he's heard nothing to suggest job cuts in the region.
"They haven't gotten into a lot of details about the employees, but those discussions will continue," Nutter said.
The deal, expected to be completed during the second quarter of this year, got mouths salivating yesterday on Wall Street. Tasty stock shot up 146 percent.
Staff writer Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.