Published: Mon, December 04, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Founder of 'Golden Krust' chain shoots self inside factory

Founder of 'Golden Krust' chain shoots self inside factory

Lowell Hawthorne, who used his father's and mother's recipes and his brothers' and sisters' second mortgages to fund a Jamaican restaurant in NY that grew into the largest Caribbean-food chain in America, died Saturday.

The name Lowell Hawthorne is an institution in New York City, as he served as CEO and founder of the popular Jamaican restaurant chain, Golden Krust.

The company now has more than 120 outlets in nine states, and sells its beef patties in more than 20,000 supermarkets, as well as to the city school system, state penal system and U.S. military, according to a news release issued past year.

Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr, said Hawthorne would be "sorely missed".

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"Look how far he reached", Wayne Muschamb said.

Court documents show Hawthorne was being sued for not giving his Golden Krust workers overtime pay. "The one thing I learned a long time ago: You just don't know what you think you know".

"[It's] very, very sad because we were packing the goodie bags [for the gala] with the Golden Krust buns and newsletter when I got the call".

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. He takes care of his employees. In 2011 he was named the Jamaica Observer's Diaspora Business Leader for 2010, and was conferred an honorary Doctor of Letters from Medgar Evers College in NY.

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Born in Jamaica, Howell's Golden Krust has more than 120 restaurants in 9 states and is touted as the first Caribbean-owned business to be granted a franchise license in the U.S.

His memoir, "The Baker's Son: My Life in Business", was published in 2012. "Like many transplanted Caribbean nationals, I struggled to work and raise a family", Hawthorne wrote.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness shared condolences with Hawthorne's family, friends and employees on Twitter. "I can only thank God for everything I have achieved, and if my story can inspire others to rise up and give it a do, then I would have succeeded in doing something meaningful", he stated.

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