Lowell Hawthorne, the founder and CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, has died in New York City. He was 57.
The city's medical examiner's said Hawthorne shot himself in the head at his Bronx factory on Saturday.
Hawthorne started the successful Caribbean fast food chain in 1989 by selling Jamaican beef patties, jerk chicken and breads. He built the business into a national franchise with more than 120 restaurants in nine states.
Hawthorne once appeared in an episode of CBS' "Undercover Boss." At the time of his death his company was planning on building a new $37 million headquarters in Rockland County.
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"He was a nice boss, a wonderful guy," longtime employee Everald Woods told the Daily News. "He's the kind of guy you want to work for for that long. He takes care of his employees."
In a Twitter message on Saturday, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness offered his condolences to Hawthorn's family and employees.
In a release on Sunday, the chain called Hawthorne a "visionary."
"Our hearts are broken, and we are struggling to process our grief over this tremendous loss," the company said.