Golden Krust CEO Lowell Hawthorne found dead at 57

Gladys Abbott
December 4, 2017

Chef's Choice CEO Pat Russo, who told the Daily News he has worked with Hawthorne for the past two decades, was similarly caught off guard.

In a shocking suicide, the chief executive officer of the Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill shot and killed himself this weekend in the Bronx.

"He was a good boss, humble and a good businessman", said former employee Pete Tee. "Lowell was a visionary, entrepreneur, community champion, and above all a committed father, family man, friend and man of faith".

Hawthorne founded and opened the first Golden Krust store 198 and his company grew nationally to over 120 restaurants in nine states.

Hawthorne employed dozens of relatives at the business he started in 1989, and the source said he left a note in which he apologized to his family.

During a brief news conference at the Golden Krust bakery, company spokesman and Hawthorne nephew Steven Clarke said widow Lorna Hawthorne was making funeral arrangements and it was unclear if there would be a public memorial service.

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Over the next 28 years, Golden Krust expanded to some 120 franchises across the USA, selling beef patties and jerk chicken under the motto, "We take the taste of the Caribbean to the world". Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness also expressed his condolences.

"Golden Krust was a formative part of my childhood and adolescence as we lived across the street from the one in Brooklyn", @JadoreCas tweeted.

"Look how far he reached. This has got me shocked". The first Golden Krust, located across from a Bronx subway stop, was funded with money his siblings raised by taking second mortgages out on their homes.

Then, in 2012 he wrote a memoir called "The Baker's Son: My Life In Business".

Former Contactor General of Jamaica, Greg Christie, also shared memories of the Golden Krust boss, reflecting on the time Hawthorne introduced him at the 7th Annual Lecture of the CIN Lecture Series in NY. "He's the kind of guy you want to work for that long".

"If my story here can inspire others to rise up and give it a go, I would have accomplished something meaningful".

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