Vice President, Manufacturing Operations & IT
Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill
Ask Haywood Hawthorne to name the persons to whom he attributes his professional achievements and why and he will list, without hesitation, his grandparents, his mother and his father. The lessons he learned from them — humility, resilience and entrepreneurial tenacity, respectively — stand him in good stead to this day, he explains.
Hawthorne is vice president of manufacturing and information technology at Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, a distributor of Caribbean food products, including Jamaican-style patties, that has been owned and operated by the Hawthorne family since its establishment in 1989. The only franchisor of Caribbean restaurants in the United States, Golden Krust products can be found in supermarkets, hospitals, schools, correctional institutions and food service facilities, sporting facilities, other retail outlets and at special outdoor events throughout the country.
Hawthorne came to the United States after graduating from high school in Jamaica. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance at Lehman College and has begun work on an MBA at Southern New Hampshire University, with emphasis on finance. “As an immigrant, my story is like that of many others,” he says.
He has spent his entire working life in the family business, motivated by the words of founder and CEO Lowell Hawthorne, “the power of the patty,” as he learned critical aspects of the business. Prior to assuming his current role, he served as IT director, purchasing manager, accounting clerk and payroll administrator. Now, he ensures product quality and availability and sees to it that, as the company grows, manufacturing capabilities meet or exceed industry and customer requirements in terms of cost efficiency, quality and responsiveness. He also oversees new product development, production control, process development and quality systems, as well as purchasing, and shipping and receiving activities. Hawthorne is a member of the company’s board of directors and works with the Golden Krust Foundation.