Published: Mon, December 04, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Golden Krust CEO Lowell Hawthorne found dead at 57

Golden Krust CEO Lowell Hawthorne found dead at 57

"He was a good boss, humble and a good businessman", said Pete Tee, 27, a former employee. He even appeared on the CBS reality show "Undercover Boss ," in which owners go to work in disguise at their own companies in order to see what life is like for their employees. Over the next 28 years, Golden Krust grew immensely in popularity and size.

During a brief news conference at the Golden Krust bakery, company spokesman and Hawthorne nephew Steven Clarke said widow Lorna Hawthorne was making funeral arrangements and it was unclear if there would be a public memorial service.

Pat Russo, who worked with Hawthorne for decades was baffled by the news of the suicide.

Employees said they saw his auto - a Tesla 85D - parked between two lanes.

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Hawthorne first opened the Golden Krust in 1989, specializing in Jamaican beef patties.

"By 2020, all Americans we expect to be eating Golden Krust patties", he said. "He's the kind of guy you want to work for that long".

"Look how far he reached", Hawthorne's friend Wayne Muschamb told NY reporters on Saturday. But the menu's backbone has always been the Jamaican patty, a flaky pastry dough filled with spicy ground beef or jerk chicken. He takes care of his employees. "I don't know if the pressures of running the business was too much, but I'm shocked".

Hawthorne came to the USA from Jamaica when he was 21 years old.

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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.

A family member told detectives that Lowell Hawthorne, 57, admitted the huge tax debt to some of his relatives, and was "acting funny" and "talking to himself" in the hours before his suicide, a law-enforcement source said Sunday.

The business became so successful that the Hawthorne's were encouraged to create franchises, and they seized the opportunity to do just that, resulting in the huge expansion of the business.

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