CEO of popular Jamaican restaurant Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, Lowell Hawthorne reportedly committed suicide Saturday night in his Bronx factory.
According to police reports, the 57-year-old died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, he was found inside the Park Ave. building near E. 173rd St in Claremont.
More than a dozen current and former employees stood in disbelief outside the factory hours later. Some had tears rolling down their cheeks, New York Daily News reported.
Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill operates a chain of over 100 restaurants in nine states (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Massachusetts).
In 1989, Hawthorne along with his wife Lorna, four of his siblings and their spouses, pooled all their resources to open the first Golden Krust retail location on East Gun Hill Road in Bronx, New York.
By 1996 they owned 17 restaurants throughout New York City.
The business became so successful that the Hawthorne’s were encouraged to create franchises and they seized the opportunity to do just that.