CEO of & # 39; Golden Krust & # 39; commits suicide at the Bronx factory –

CEO of & # 39; Golden Krust & # 39; commits suicide at the Bronx factory


Lowell Hawthorne, who immigrated to the United States from Jamaica and founded a restaurant franchise chain with 120 locations in nine states, committed suicide Saturday night at his Bronx factory.

A spicy Jamaican beef burger at a Golden Krust bakery in downtown Brooklyn. Jonathan Barth

Hawthorne, 57, executive director of Golden Krust, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police sources said.

Golden Krust opened its first restaurant in 1989 in the Bronx after Hawthorne, his wife Lorna, four of his brothers and their spouses, raised their money, reported Loop News of St. Lucia.

In 1996, the company, which was famous for its beef burgers, had 17 restaurants in the Big Apple.

Then he began his successful franchise operation.

Hawthorne told the Wall Street Journal in 2015 his goal: "By 2020, all Americans will have heard of Jamaican hamburgers."

He told the newspaper that it's a family operation wit h Hawthorne's wife, three sons and daughter, not to mention cousins. nieces and nephews, all involved.

His four children are Daren, a lawyer who is a corporate lawyer; Omar, director of franchises; Monique, who runs the company's foundation, and Haywood, vice president of manufacturing.

In his interview with the Journal, he could only guess how many relatives work in the operation. Your guess: "Dozens."

Saddened employees gathered in front of the factory, at 3958 Park Avenue, on Saturday night to show their respect.

"He's a nice man, a good man," said John Harrison, who had been working there for three years.

"The Jamaicans, they feel it, we are all Jamaicans, we lost a Jamaican, we're sorry."

Hanaku Oxori, who had worked at the plant for 17 years, said: "It's nice with everyone here."

Suicide "came as a surprise to me," he added.

"We saw it every day. He talks to everyone. He was always in a good mood. "

Hawthorne wrote a book titled" The Baker's Son ", which recounts his life in the Caribbean and his success in New York.

Hawthorne, on November 28, made a post on Facebook reflecting on his life.

"I was always looking for the following honest ways to make a dollar. Like many transplanted Caribbean citizens, I had trouble working and starting a family. I can only thank God for all that I have achieved, "he wrote.

" If my story here could inspire others to get up and try, I would have achieved something meaningful "

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