Sunday, December 3, 2017

Pioneering Jamaican Business Founder and CEO Of Golden Krust Kills Himself In Factory

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Pioneering Caribbean Businessman Commits Suicide
By Kamau Austin
Courtesy The Shade Room

Lowell Hawthorne, 57, the CEO and Founder of the popular Caribbean food company Golden Krust, has committed suicide in his Bronx factory according to reports by the Daily News.  He reportedly killed himself at about 5:30 pm by shooting himself.  The Gleaner, of Jamaica West Indies stated "Early reports say Hawthorne killed himself at the main office in New York with two bullets to the head."

His workers and people of Caribbean descent throughout the world, and his native Jamaica, are understandably saddened and stunned.  Some claimed he didn't seem to be sad or depressed. 

It was reported in the Daily News, that one of his employees felt "He was a nice boss, a wonderful guy," said Everald Woods, an employee at Golden Krust since 2003. "He’s the kind of guy you want to work for that long. He takes care of his employees."

Woods added: "I didn’t believe the news when I heard it at first. I don’t know if the pressure of running the business was too much, but I’m shocked."

Hawthorne, grew his company from one location in the Bronx, in 1989, to over 17 in the NYC area and 120 nationwide. The company claims to be the first Caribbean owned business in the US to be granted a franchise license.  It also has a large distribution in shopping outlets all over the US.

Hawthorne was the son of a baker and also wrote a book and In 2012.  He published “The Baker’s Son: My Life in Business,” a memoir according to the Daily News.  He immigrated here from Jamaica, West Indies.

According to the New York Post, another employee chimed in "He’s a nice man, a good man,"’ said John Harrison, who had been working there for three years. "The Jamaican people, they feel it. All of us are Jamaican. We lost a Jamaican, we feel it."’

His family was very involved in his business.  He is quoted as saying confidently in the Wall Street Journal in 2015 his goal: "By 2020 all Americans will have heard of Jamaican patties."

Mr. Hawthorne also told the Wall Street Journal "that it’s a family operation with Hawthorne’s wife, three sons and daughter, not to mention cousins, nieces and nephews, all involved.

He revealed to The Wall Street Journal "his four children are Daren, a lawyer who’s corporate counsel; Omar, director of franchising; Monique who runs the company’s foundation and Haywood, vice president of manufacturing.

According to the Jamaican Gleaner Lowell Hawthorne, "The founder of the Caribbean food empire was also the chairman of the American Foundation of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

Hawthorne has been the recipient of numerous awards both in Jamaica and in the United States for his philanthropy and his entrepreneurial genius. In 2000, he won the coveted Entrepreneur of the Year, award from the accounting firm Ernst & Young, and over the years he has been celebrated in numerous newspapers, magazines and television shows for his accomplishments."

Lowell Hawthorne, will certainly be missed.  There are no reports yet on why Mr. Hawthorne, would have wanted to commit suicide. 

Lowell Hawthorne In Better Times Advocating For Jamaican Economic Development

Black Enterprise Showcases Lowell Hawthorne And the Golden Krust Company

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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