The founder and CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill has reportedly committed suicide inside his Bronx factory on Saturday (December 2).
Police sources say 57-year-old Lowell Hawthorne shot himself inside the the Park Ave. building at about 5:30 pm.
Current and former employees were stunned and gathered to stand outside the factory hours later. Many were in tears.
“He was a good boss, humble and a good businessman,” former employee Pete Tee said. “He never seemed sad. This is just terrible news right now.”
The first Golden Krust store was opened on E. Gun Hill Rd. in 1989. From there Hawthorne went on to build the brand into a national brand and opening and additional 119 restaurants in nine states.
Golden Krust became the first Caribbean-owned business in the U.S. to be granted a franchise license, according to its website.