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This is just tragic.

The founder and CEO of New York City’s Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill has killed himself inside his Bronx factory on Saturday. According to the New York Daily News, police believe that Lowell Hawthorne, 57, shot himself repeatedly.

More than a dozen current and former employees stood in disbelief outside the factory hours later, many of them in tears.

“He was a good boss, humble and a good businessman,” said Pete Tee, 27, a former employee told the Daily News.

“He never seemed sad. This is just terrible news right now.”

Longtime employee Everald Woods also told the paper that he adored working under Hawthorne.

“He was a nice boss, a wonderful guy,” said Woods, an employee since 2003. “He’s the kind of guy you want to work for for that long. He takes care of his employees.”

While there may have not been any apparent signs that he was suffering from any mental health issues, some of Hawthorne’s employees said they suspected something was off with him when they spotted his car parked oddly outside the factory. The Daily News noted that his luxury ride was left in the road blocking a lane of traffic.

Hawthorne’s personal story of success is everything the American Dream is made of.

The New York Post reported that Hawthorne emigrated to the United States from Jamaica and opened the first Golden Krust store in the Bronx in 1989. Hawthorne, his wife Lorna, four of his siblings and their spouses, reportedly pooled their money to get the store off the ground.

Golden Krust became the first Caribbean-owned business in the U.S. to be granted a franchise license, says it website. At the time of his death, Golden Krust operated or franchised 120 locations in nine states and produced roughly 50 million patties a year.
While Golden Krust started in New York, Hawthorne became a national star when he was a guest on the hit CBS show Undercover Boss last year.
In addition, Hawthorne wrote a book in 2012, The Baker’s Son.
We’re sending our prayers and thoughts to the Hawthorn family.


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Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery CEO Found Dead, Apparent Suicide  was originally published on