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Founder of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery commits suicide

R.I.P: Lowell Hawthorne

FOUNDER AND CEO of a Caribbean fast food chain, Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, has committed suicide.

Lowell Hawthorne, 57, allegedly shot himself inside the Morrisania, The Bronx factory of his Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill on Saturday night (Dec 2).

Hawthorne emigrated to the United States from Jamaica and opened his first Golden Krust operation in 1989. The food chain was know for selling beef patties and evolved into a small fast-food empire.

There are now more than 100 Golden Krust establishments across the United States selling patties and other food such as jerk chicken and plantains.

“Our hearts are broken, and we are struggling to process our grief over this tremendous loss,” the Golden Krust company said in a statement on Sunday (Nov 3). “Lowell was a visionary, entrepreneur, community champion, and above all a committed father, family man, friend and man of faith.”

Former employees of his told the Daily News that he was 'humble and 'good' and were 'shocked' at hearing he had likely committed suicide.

COJO chairman and founder Gary Williams, who had a time-honoured relationship with Hawthorne, expressed shock at the death of his friend and colleague.

"[It's] very, very sad because we were packing the goodie bags [for the gala] with the Golden Krust buns and newsletter when I got the call. I was shocked and in total disbelief," Williams said to The Gleaner.

"Everyone knows Lowell Hawthorne as an icon in our community, an inspiration to all of us, and Golden Krust is a part of everything - they bought tickets for the event last night (Saturday evening) as well. So hearing that was like ... . It is a loss for us and my heart goes out to his family."

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness also shared condolences with Hawthorne’s family, friends and employees on Twitter.

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