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From a Jamaican: Why Golden Krust is such an important part of NYC culture

If you are from NYC and you’ve never had a Golden Krust beef patty #IDFWY.

So if you are reading this know that this post is for my real ones. The people who have been eating Golden Krust beef patties since day one.

Growing up in an NYC borough you’re exposed to all kinds of smells at a young age. There’s all types of international scents going on as you walk down the street passing by all of the different restaurants and food carts.

We have our bodegas, our Chinese restaurants, pizza joints, cafes, halal carts — and most importantly we have Jamaican food.

Action Bronson Jamaica GIF by F*CK, THAT'S DELICIOUS - Find & Share on GIPHY

There’s always the tiny mom and pop stores that you only know about through word of mouth. You pull up and get your jerk chicken, oxtails with rice and peas, or curry goat with white rice.

Perhaps you weren’t feeling a full meal there was always the option of getting a quick bite. Maybe an order of bun and cheese, a gizzada cake, or a patty with coco bread.

It didn’t matter because at the end of the day you were eating something that was so rich in flavor it brought you right back to the island of Jamaica.

Even if you were never there or never got a chance to go, each bite would have reggae music buzzing in your ears.

There was a man who brought that same feeling to NYC. Through him, everyone was able to get a taste of Caribbean culture. That man was Golden Krust founder Lowell Hawthorne.

This is the man who put the intricate tastes of the Carribean into the mouths of Americans across 30 states. If you went to an NYC school he’s probably the reason why you had your first beef patty. Golden Krust’s slogan says it all,

“We take the taste of the Caribbean to the world.”

Hawthorne started his Golden Krust restaurant empire back in 1989. He decided to jump into the venture after coming to America as a Jamaican immigrant and finally getting some stability as an NYPD accountant for nine years.

The move was risky but Lowell knew he had to put the people on. He had to do it for the culture and his family. Following in his father’s footsteps, who was a baker in Jamaica, he went to the bank to try and get a loan.

Of course, they dubbed him as they would any Black man trying to acquire the American dream. But that didn’t stop him.

Take your taste buds on an adventure with our delicious Oxtail. Photo By: djrincon1 #GoldenKrust

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If you know any Jamaican, you should know that we always stick together, especially when there’s a chance to make some serious guap.

So naturally, the people that were by his side pitched in money in order to make the Golden Krust fast food chain dream come to fruition.

Rewinding time back to 1989, the first Golden Krust opened up on East Gun Hill Road in the Bronx and Lowell never looked back. This is the same Golden Krust I went to after school as a kid, kind of crazy how that works out.

Me and the homies used to play mad handball, shoot some hoops at the park around there or fuck around in the library that was next door, then shoot over to Golden Krust for some gilded, golden, and flaky patties with oh so soft coco bread.

They used to hold me down. I always used to get one after a hard day in the BX trenches. Trust me, back then the flaming was way more hot than it is now.

Lowell Hawthorne is a man I wish I could thank. Even though I didn’t know the man behind the Golden Krust Patty he definitely was an influence on my and other city dweller’s lives.

Double or nothing? #TrustTheKrust #GoldenKrust #Caribbean #IslandLife

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To be completely candid, his food reminds me of an NYC childhood. Hopefully, his legacy continues to live on through his family members and those who he inspired. Six days before he shot himself in his Bronx Golden Krust factory on Saturday, he wrote a Facebook post that read,

“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.”

RIP to Lowell Hawthorne.