NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In a shocking suicide, the chief executive officer of the Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill shot and killed himself this weekend in the Bronx.
Police found Lowell Hawthorne, 57, with a gunshot wound to the head inside his factory in the Claremont section of the Bronx on Saturday.
Hawthorne, a native of the country of Jamaica, started the company in 1989 and grew it to a global empire with more than 120 stores in nine states.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness tweeted his condolences.
“My condolences to the friends, family and employees of Jamaica-born Lowell Hawthorne, CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill. He headed the largest Caribbean franchise chain in the US, with more than 120 stores,” Holness wrote.
Queens City Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-27th) also issued a statement.
“We are at a loss to conceive the notion that Lowell Hawthorne, the baker’s son from the Jamaican hilltop community of Border, whose culinary gifts and can-do spirit gave birth to a surging restaurant and food retail enterprise that employs several hundred people in locations across America, is now gone to us,” Miller wrote. “Since its creation, Golden Krust has always been more than a franchise. It is both an expression of cultural pride and devotion to community. I wish to extend my condolences to the Hawthorne Family for the sudden and untimely passing of their beloved Lowell. We will not soon forget the many contributions of the man who took the taste of the Caribbean to the world.”