Lowell Fitzgerald Hawthorne, O.D., C.D., DLitt. (Hon.) LLD (Hon.)
President & CEO, Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill
Lowell F. Hawthorne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, the nation’s largest Caribbean franchise chain – is a son of the Jamaican soil.
He migrated to the United States in 1981 along with his family and found employment as an accountant with the New York Police Department. In 1989 he pursued his desire to create economic stability for his family and opened a bakery on East Gun Hill Road, in Bronx, NY, with the help of his wife, his siblings and their spouses. The bakery grew rapidly and soon gave birth to several other outlets in the New York metropolitan area. Today Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill operates over 120 stores in 9 states and provides employment for over 1500 persons.
Mr. Hawthorne is a product of the City University of New York system. Over the years, he has been bestowed with many prestigious awards for his entrepreneurial prowess including the prestigious Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2002. In October 17, 2005 Lowell was conferred with the highest national honor from his native home Jamaica, the Order of Distinction (O.D.) In October 2014, Mr. Hawthorne was again selected by the Government and people of Jamaica for a second national honor, for service to Commerce and Community Development; The Order of Distinction, Commander Rank. Most recently, in 2016, Mr. Hawthorne was featured on the two-time Emmy Award-winning reality show, “Undercover Boss”.
Lowell is a sought-after motivational speaker who has served on many Executive Boards and is currently 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). Under his leadership the organization ranks in the Black Enterprise top 100 and the Entrepreneur Magazine’s top 500. In September of 2011 he was conferred with a Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree by Medgar Evers College for his outstanding contribution to the community and in that same year, he was named the Jamaica Observer’s Business Leader of the Year for 2010. In 2012 he was also conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of the West Indies. His most recent achievement is the completion of his autobiography entitled “The Baker’s Son” – a gripping narrative which chronicles his profound journey from Jamaica to the United States and the development of a small Jamaican business into a highly successful American business empire.
Lowell Hawthorne believes “a mind is a terrible thing to waste and a positive community is everybody’s business”. His passion for philanthropy is demonstrated by the establishment of the Mavis & Ephraim Hawthorne Golden Krust Foundation, named in honor of his late parents. Since 2005 the Foundation has awarded over 300 scholarships to aspiring students both in the United States and Jamaica.
Lowell is happily married to Lorna and has four children.