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Golden Krust Aims to Make Jamaican Food Mainstream

New York

Lowell Hawthorne wants to make Golden Krust’s Jamaican fare (above) the new Chipotle burrito, reports the Wall Street Journal. And why not, when he’s already turned his family business into New York City’s biggest locally owned restaurant chain? Prompted by a need to support dozens of family members, Hawthorne began aggressively targeting locations near subways and advertising in church bulletins. The last piece of the puzzle was a trip to Jamaica to find and hire Old Mel, a reclusive cook with a secret patty recipe. Today Golden Krust patties are sold in more than 12,000 supermarkets. The chain has 70 New York locations, and an additional 50 along the East Coast. It serves city schools and prisons, churning out more than 45 million patties a year. With roughly $100M in total revenue last year, and new options like soy, vegetable and spinach patties with whole-wheat crusts, Hawthorne’s dream is on its way to becoming a reality.