Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, the nation’s largest Caribbean franchise chain with more than 120 restaurants located in nine states opened its newest franchise restaurant in Brooklyn, New York, located at 2223 Church Ave. on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. The franchise owners are Stanley and Noveene Dennis.
Lorraine Hawthorne-Morrison, vice president of Real Estate and Legal of Golden Krust opened the event with a call to order, followed by an opening prayer by Norman Bailey. Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Latalya Morrison greeted and welcomed the attendees and guests, including Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams, who praised the Golden Krust family and franchise for their ongoing contribution to the Brooklyn community. The event was also highlighted by an official ribbon cutting ceremony, attendance of President and COO of Golden Krust, Lowell Hawthorne, franchisees and well-wishers. There were also an abundance of free food samples, prizes and surprises for their guests.
Dr. Roy A Hastick, Sr., president and founder of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc (CACCI) spoke on behalf of the Church Avenue, Brooklyn community saying, “We are blessed to have another Golden Krust franchise in Brooklyn.” Hastick noted, “It is only in New York that a person can leave a humble place in the Caribbean and come to Brooklyn or any of the other four boroughs for that matter and make it.”
He commended Dennis and his wife, Noveene, on opening their fourth franchise and their choice of location, calling it a “prized spot.” He said that in terms of financing, having a financial and business plan, Stanley has done it. Hastick also praised Golden Krust’s president for his vision and master planning in his selection of staff and family that has also made for the ingredients of the Golden Krust franchise being a success.
Dennis spoke about Golden Krust sowing back into the community. According to him, the Golden Krust franchise is about lifting the spirit of the individual and their customers as a whole. He expressed pride in the opportunity to serve the residents of the Church Avenue community; particularly for the Caribbean residents of which Golden Krust serves to represent home away from home. To that end, according to Dennis, “Golden Krust makes it a top priority that their customers have fresh, healthy and clean food.” Their restaurants locations are always clean and much of the franchisee sponsorship money goes into ensuring that this happens. He reiterated his pride in being a part of the Golden Krust family and the opportunity to serve. He also invited the residents of the community who desire to be a part of the Golden Krust family to come on in and get information. He believes that it is a business that can make one financially independent, but it also comes with the price of hard work.
According to Hawthorne, opening a franchise restaurant on Church Avenue just makes sense because it is the heart and mecca of Caribbean culture. Not to mention, Church Avenue is one of the busiest streets in Brooklyn on any given weekday or weekend. Twenty-five years ago, he met two very important people, Dr. Hastick and Eric Adams who is now the Brooklyn Borough president. Dr. Hastick was at the time practicing out of Eastern Parkway. He sought out Hastick’s counsel on how to start the Golden Krust franchise.
According to Hawthorne, Dr. Hastick gave him all of the support he needed then and continues to give him support for the Golden Krust brand in every way, shape and fashion. According to Hawthorne, he and Adams shared similar paths. They both worked for the NYPD and that is where they first met. Since then they have become good friends and are both serving their communities; Adams becoming the Brooklyn Borough resident and Hawthorne serving the community through his Golden Krust brand by taking the taste of the Caribbean to the entire world.
Hawthorne believes that Golden Krust is a God-given gift and he believes that God has bestowed this wonderful gift on the Golden Krust family. Standing next to his sister Lorraine, Hawthorne stated that the story of the Hawthorne family is one of hard work, family, community spirit and giving back. In speaking about his family’s success story he said, “We could not have achieved the success that we have enjoyed today without God on our side. We could not have enjoyed the success we are experiencing without franchisees like Mr. Stanley Dennis and his entire family.”
Hawthorne noted that over the last 17 years franchisees have invested more than $30 million in the Golden Krust concept. He believes that the fact that people are willing to invest that amount of money speaks volumes to who they are, what they provide for their people and their community. However, what is most important to the Golden Krust family, according to Hawthorne, is their ability to give back. One way they have done this is by establishing the Mavis and Ephraim Hawthorne Golden Krust Foundation Scholarship in honor of their parents. Since its establishment, Golden Krust has provided more than 200 scholarships to young students to attend college.
Not only have they provided scholarships, but they have also fed the homeless as well as joining forces with the American Breast Cancer Association. Hawthorne said, “We are very much community-oriented and community focused.” He thanked the community and went on to say, “The company’s vision continues and that is to ensure that we are able to take the taste of the Caribbean to the entire world and to make Golden Krust your home away from home.”