A report from Jamaica’s Observer.
Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the renowned Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, which operates out of the United States, Lowell Hawthorne, is often referred to as the ‘Patty King’.
He will, however, tell you that he is quite happy to be called the “Jamaican Ambassador”.
A graduate of Oberlin High School in West Rural St Andrew, Hawthorne, who went to the United States in 1981 in pursuit of the ‘American Dream’, has defied all odds to actually find it.
The resulting outcome is that his company is now the largest manufacturer of Jamaican patties in the United States, supplying a wide range of this and other delicious Caribbean culinary treats to penal institutions, schools, military bases and supermarkets, among other locations in nine states.
Additionally, the entity has extended its reach to over 120 locations in 33 other countries worldwide.
Renowned for its signature ‘golden krust’ patties, the entity ranks among the fastest growing franchises in the USA.
It is a success story that has not only evoked praise from Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, but it was good enough to convince the producers of the CBS hit series ‘Undercover Boss’ to feature Hawthorne and Golden Krust in one of its episodes several years ago.
“Remarkable” is how Johnson Smith describes the exploits of Howell, who was keynote speaker at the recent Christian Diaspora Conference in Montego Bay.
“These are the kinds of success stories of Jamaicans doing well overseas that we have to highlight. Mr Hawthorne is a classic example of someone who is doing it with both grace and humility,” she says.
For Hawthorne, while the road he traverses was not always easy, his achievements validate the many years of hard work and sacrifice that now make Golden Krust one of the biggest Jamaican-owned companies throughout the Diaspora.
“I am proud to say we are the largest manufacturer of Jamaican patties within the continental United States. We would never have made it this far without having the four D’s: drive, determination, desire and discipline. In addition, I would never have made it and would have lost my mind a long time ago had it not been for the power of Almighty God,” he says.
Hawthorne points out, however, that while he was not born with the proverbial gold spoon in his mouth nor had “a silver platter handed down to me”, he never lost faith in his ability to succeed.
“My journey from Jamaica to the United States has been a long and challenging one. I have undergone severe challenges and difficulties that I never knew I could overcome. They seemed almost insurmountable.”
Hawthorne explained that his experiences in the United States inspired him to write a memoir, chronicling his journey from a life of uncertainty to one of the biggest success stories emanating from Jamaica.
“My memoir not only chronicles my journey from Jamaica to the USA, but it was also written to inspire the next generation of leaders so they can use their God-given abilities to be all they can be.
“In my short life, I have been a farmer, owned my own mini-bus and even operated my own sound system. It was only after then that I got the opportunity to go to this great country, the USA, in search of the American Dream,” he says.
Hawthorne notes that when he first went to the United States, “I took advantage of the opportunities that came my way.”
“I was always in search of the next honest means to make a dollar. Like many transplanted Caribbean nationals, I struggled to work and raise a family. I can only thank God for everything I have achieved, and if my story here can inspire others to rise up and give it a go, then I would have succeeded in doing something meaningful,” he adds.
See also recent coverage in the US news media:
Caribbean franchise celebrates National Jamaican Patty Day
The Bronx News 12, August 6, 2017
The Jamaican beef patty extends its reach
Rochelle Oliver, The New York Times, May 23, 2017
New York-based Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill comes to Boston
Sandra Larson, The Bay State Banner, April 5, 2017