Words by Megan A


If you are fan of Caribbean food, then you probably heard of Golden Krust, a popular Caribbean food chain that extends over the east coast with over 100 locations, including New York, Florida and Massachusetts.

Lowell Hawthorne, 57, the founder and CEO of Golden Krust took his own life his Bronx factory on Saturday Night. Hawthorne who emigrated from Jamaica to the US in 1981, founded the popular Caribbean Bakery and Grill in 1989, opening its first U.S. location on Gun Hill Road in the Bronx. According to NYPD law enforcement, Hawthorne died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, leaving behind a wife, Lorna and four children.

Employees saddened by the news of his death, gathered outside of the factory to pay their respects to their former boss. John Harrison, a factory worker of Golden Krust for 3 years, spoke to reporters about Hawthorne and expressed how much he will be missed. “He’s a nice man, a good man,” Harrison started. “The Jamaican people, they feel it. All of us are Jamaican. We lost a Jamaican, we feel it.” Hanaku Oxori, who had worked at the factory for almost 20 years shares the same sentiments. “He’s nice to everyone here.” Oxori also expressed that the suicide “was a surprise” to him.

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

I was always in search of the next honest means to make a dollar. Like many transplanted Caribbean nationals, I struggled to work and raise a family. I can only thank God for everything I have achieved. If my story here can inspire others to rise up and give it a go, I would have accomplished something meaningful.