Caribbean Bakery & Grill founder, CEO commits suicide

The Jamaica-born owner built a national empire with more than 120 restaurants in nine states.

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The founder and CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill who once appeared on “Undercover Boss” killed himself inside his Bronx factory Saturday, police sources said.

Lowell Hawthorne, 57, shot himself inside the Park Ave. building near E. 173rd St. in Claremont about 5:30 p.m., sources said.

More than a dozen current and former employees stood in disbelief outside the factory hours later. Some had tears rolling down their cheeks.Saddened

“He was a good boss, humble and a good businessman,” said Pete Tee, 27, a former employee. “He never seemed sad. This is just terrible news right now.”

Surveillance video shows Howell shooting himself in the head inside his office shortly after 2 employees left the room. The 2 employees are seen crouching down as they re-enter the office. One of the employees is seen calling 911.

The married father of three was found dead on the floor of his office. A handgun was found near the body.

Hawthorne was a Jamaican immigrant who built his empire from a single fast-food eatery on East Gun Hill Road in the Bronx in 1989. His meat patties were a huge hit among the Jamaican immigrant community in the Bronx. He eventually employed dozens of relatives as employees.

Hawthorne opened the first Golden Krust store on E. Gun Hill Rd. in 1989 and went on to build the beef-patty purveyor into a national empire with more than 120 restaurants in nine states.

In May of last year, Hawthorne starred in an episode of CBS’ “Undercover Boss,” and discovered some of his chefs “aren’t on the same cookbook page,” according to the CBS website.

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