Reviewed by Stephen Williams
TAGS: Lowell Hawthorne, Akashic Books, business, Jamaica, Golden Krust Bakery
The Baker's Son: My Life in the Business takes you through the life of Lowell Hawthorne, the sixth of eleven children born into a impoverished family. It was Hawthorne who carried on the passionate legacy that was passed down from his late father, Ephraim: a small family business that served a very small Jamaican town, which grew into an international phenomenon known as Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill. His is a story about vision and determination, values, community and culture.
Hawthorne goes into depth about his life and family influences that helped to define him as the CEO of Golden Krust. Before there was a Golden Krust, Hawthorne showed a sense of entrepreneurship at an early age as a child in Jamaica. He sold young chickens to his mother who, in turn, sold them to the family grocery store. As a teen, he saved up enough money to purchase his own bus, in order to operate his own transportation service. As a result of juggling multiple ventures (transportation, livestock, and working in the bakery) he was not only very busy, but also financially comfortable.
Hawthorn immigrated from Jamaica to the United States and worked eight years in the New York Police Department, while maintaining an accounting practice as a second source of income. In 1990, he established Golden Krust Bakery, which was built around an Easter tradition in Jamaica. His commitment to his family and his religious upbringing, coupled with a strong work ethic, has helped to define him as one of the most successful Jamaican business owners in the U.S. Despite personal tragedy, Hawthorne has realized his vision of making Golden Krust a major force in food industry, with revenues of over $100 million.
The delivery of the chapters tell a compelling story for a biography, and was indeed fulfilling to read. The pictures should have been placed throughout the book to add emphasis on the story as it was told, instead of being grouped together in one section of the book. The Baker’s Son is a testament to the power of vision and business savvy.
Stephen Williams is an IT project manager in Atlanta, GA. He reads business journals and technical magazines to stay current on latest trends in technology & strategy. He is also passionate about photography.