Location: Bronx, NY
President and CEO
FOUNDING PRINCIPLES: When Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill president and CEO Lowell Hawthorne, his wife and his siblings migrated to New York from Jamaica, they decided to continue the family tradition started by their parents, Mavis and Ephraim. The group pooled its resources and opened The Golden Krust Bakery. The bakery’s success allowed its founders to quit their other jobs, and Golden Krust ultimately became the first Carribean-owned business to be granted a franchise license. The company has evolved to offer other Caribbean fare, such as its famous Jamaican-style patties, but it still remains dedicated to its founding principle: people before profit.
Quick Tip: “Treat owners as equals and operate professionally.”
ONBOARDING FAMILY: Hawthorne says generations of the family’s young people have been engaged in Golden Krust from a young age through after-school and holiday jobs and internships. But, he adds, potential employees must be qualified for the positions they hope to occupy, and are encouraged to pursue education goals as well.
CULTURAL VALUES: In addition to providing consumers with authentic Jamaican and Caribbean cuisine and strong customer service, Golden Krust strives to create an environment for employees that is fun, rewarding and aspirational.
LASTING LEGACY: “The vision of Golden Krust is to take the taste of the Caribbean to the world. This is a vision that everyone believes is possible,” says Hawthorne. To help carry on the company’s legacy and achieve its mission, the older generation encourages younger generations to innovate. To that end, the younger Hawthornes maintain an active think tank to showcase forward-looking ideas and products.