Lowell F. Hawthorne is a son of the Jamaican soil who emigrated in 1981 and went on to become president and chief executive officer of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, the nation’s largest Caribbean franchise chain.
After Hawthorne and his family migrated to the United States, he graduated Bronx Community College and found employment as an accountant with the New York Police Department.
Eight years later, with the help of his wife, siblings and their spouses, he opened a bakery on East Gun Hill Road, in the Bronx. He was following in the footsteps of his father who owned a bakery in Jamaica.
The bakery grew rapidly and soon expanded to several other locations in the New York metropolitan area. Today Golden Krust franchises over 100 stores in nine states employing over 1500 persons. With nine varieties of Jamaican-style patties, it is the company’s hope to add the Jamaican patty to the list of popular American ethnic fast foods along with pizza, bagels, and Chinese noodles.
Of the many prestigious awards Hawthorne has received for entrepreneurial prowess, his native home Jamaica conferred him with the highest national honor, the Order of Distinction in 2005, and for his service to commerce and community development, in 2014 he received The Order of Distinction, Commander Rank.
Medgar Evers College and the University of West Indies bestowed him with honorary doctorates. And, in 2010, the Jamaica Observer named him Business Leader of the Year for his outstanding contribution to the community.
Under his leadership, Golden Krust organization ranks in the Black Enterprise top 100 and the Entrepreneur Magazine’s top 500.
Currently, Hawthorne is a director of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) and chairman of the Partnership Board of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI).
One of his proudest most recent achievements is the completion of his autobiography entitled “The Baker’s Son,” which chronicles his journey from Jamaica to the United States and the development of a small Jamaican business into a highly successful American business empire.
His business acumen has also segued into philanthropy. Hawthorne’s Mavis & Ephraim Hawthorne Golden Krust Foundation, named in honor of his late parents, has in the past 10 years awarded more than 300 scholarships to students both in the United States and Jamaica.
Hawthorne’s mantra is: A mind is a terrible thing to waste and a positive community is everybody’s business.
He is married to Lorna and has four children.