Lowell Hawthorne, who built a Caribbean food empire popularizing the Jamaican beef patty from coast to coast, was found dead inside his Bronx factory Saturday night from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
The body of Hawthorne, 57, of Greenburgh, the president of the Golden Krust Bakery and Grill, was discovered inside the Park Avenue factory in the Claremont section of the Bronx.
With his family's help, Hawthorne opened the first Golden Krust store in the Bronx in 1989 upon arriving from Jamaica at the age of 21 with a secret recipe for beef patties, spicy beef encased in flaky dough, a popular staple of the island nation.
Over the next 28 years, Golden Krust expanded to some 120 franchises across the U.S., selling beef patties and jerk chicken.
He obtained an associate degree in accounting from Bronx Community College and graduated from Herbert H. Lehman College with a bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing.
Mr. Hawthorne’s widow, Lorna, is Golden Krust’s director of human resources. Their three sons work in the company: Omar is the director of franchise development and community affairs; Haywood is the vice president of information-technology and manufacturing, and Daren is the corporate counsel and executive vice president of franchising. Their daughter, Monique, is responsible for the Mavis & Ephraim Hawthorne Golden Krust Foundation, which is named for Mr. Hawthorne’s parents.more » « less