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Lowell Hawthorne, who emigrated to the US from Jamaica and founded a restaurant franchise chain with 120 locations in nine states, committed suicide Saturday night in his Bronx factory.Hawthorne, 57, the CEO of Golden Krust, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, law enforcement sources said.Golden Krust opened its first restaurant in 1989 in The Bronx after Hawthorne, his wife Lorna, four of his siblings and their spouses, pooled their money, Loop news of St.Lucia reported.By 1996, the company, which was famous for its beef patties, owned 17 restaurants in the Big Apple.Then it began its wildly successful franchising operation.Hawthorne told the Wall Street Journal in 2015 his goal: “By 2020 all Americans will have heard of Jamaican patties.’’ He told the newspaper that it’s a family operation with Hawthorne’s wife, three sons and daughter, not to mention cousins.nieces and nephews, all involved.His four children are Daren, a lawyer who’s corporate counsel; Omar, director of franchising; Monique who runs the company’s foundation and Haywood, vice president of manufacturing.In his interview with the Journal, he could only guess how many relatives work in the operation.His guess: “Dozens.’’ Saddened employees gathered outside the factory, at 3958 Park Avenue Saturday night to pay their respect.“He’s a nice man, a good man,’’ said John Harrison, who had been working there for three years.“The Jamaican people, they feel it.All of us are Jamaican.We lost a Jamaican, we feel it.’’ Hanaku Oxori, who had worked at the plant for 17 years, said, “he’s nice with everyone here.’’ The suicide “was a surprise to me,’’ he added.“We saw him every day.He talks to everyone.He was always in a good mood.’’ Hawthorne wrote a book called “The Baker’s Son,’’ chronicling his life in the Caribbean and his success in New York.Hawthorne, on Nov.28, made a post on Facebook reflecting on his life.“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,” he wrote.“If my story here can inspire others to rise up and give it a go, I would have accomplished something meaningful.

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