Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill

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Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill window display

Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill is a Jamaican, West Indian and Caribbean cuisine fast food chain based in the Bronx, New York. The parent company is owned by immigrants from Jamaica, and the stores are franchised. There are 120 Golden Krust restaurants in almost a dozen states including Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, and Massachusetts.[1] The company also distributes food products to retailers, and is the largest producer of Caribbean style baked products in the U.S. and considered the foremost Jamaican business in the U.S.[2] It is also "the only company that makes and distributes nine varieties of Jamaican-style patties."[2]

Golden Krust's origins trace back to a 50-year-old bakery owned by Ephraim Hawthorne in St. Andrews, Jamaica, that serves "family recipes".[3] Ephraim's son Lowell Hawthorne is Golden Krust's chief executive and opened the first U.S. restaurant in 1989 on Gun Hill Road in the Bronx. A devoted following of West Indian immigrants in the region established a devoted following.

Menu[edit]

The restaurants serve mild and hot Jamaican patties, jerk chicken, jerk fish, dumplings, steamed yams, and curried meat dishes.[1] Items served include callaloo (Caribbean greens) and ackee, a savory yellow fruit.[1][4] They are also known for coconut breads, cakes and traditional dense white breads, called hardough breads. Bulla cakes, duck bread, rock cake, gizzada and carrot cake are also served-

In 1998 the company produced 25 million flaky burnt-orange patties on assembly lines at its main facility.[5] The restaurants do a lot of take-out business, as the patties are portable, and also distributes to supermarkets in 30 states.[5] Offerings include beef patty, vegetable patty, spicy beef and cheese patty, soy patty, oxtail, curried goat, brown stew chicken, roti filled with curried meat or vegetables, and "coco" bread.[5]

West Indian community[edit]

The eateries have drawn interest from the West Indian community and have been referred to as the most successful West Indian restaurant chain in the United States [1] Many of its original franchises were opened by nurses, and many stores are opened near hospitals where many workers are West Indian with Caribbean heritage.[6]

The chain started out serving Caribbean immigrants, but customers now include white Americans and tourists.[1] The type of food served is "becoming more and more familiar to Americans thanks to holidays they take in Aruba, Jamaica, or Trinidad and Tobago, or through meeting at work people from these islands and others." [1] There are plans to open an additional 250 stores over the next five years in the U.S., Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean.[1]

Barbadian singer Rihanna visits the "Caribbean fast food spot."[7] Jamaica's ambassador to the United States was present for the opening of the chain's fifth store in Atlanta, Georgia.[8] Offerings include nine varieties of Jamaican patties.[8] Core customers come from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Haiti.[9]

Corporate growth[edit]

The parent company is also involved in the financial services industry.[10] The family running the business hope to add the Jamaican patty to the list of American ethnic fast foods alongside the Italian pizza slice, Jewish bagel, and the Chinese noodle.[11] The company uses a rising sun logo and has a city contract to serve lunches to prison inmates and schoolchildren.[11] Hawthorne came to New York in 1981 and graduated from Bronx Community College before working as an accountant with the New York Police Department for nine years. Nine brothers and sisters are involved in the family business.[11]

History[edit]

To open its first restaurant, the family pooled $107,000, "using the Caribbean concept of susu, whereby everyone pitched in $100 a week to raise start-up money after banks refused them a loan."[9]

Operations[edit]

The restaurants do mostly take-out and have limited seating. The decor is decorated in bright "sunny" yellow and orange tiles.[9] Competing patty producers include Tower Isles Frozen Foods in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which sells more than 100,000 patties a day to supermarkets, convenience stores, delis and pizza shops that bake them on site, and Caribbean Food Delights, which makes 250,000 a day at a factory in Tappan, N.Y. "for sale at major supermarkets and warehouse chains, including Costco, Wal-Mart and Pathmark." [9] Darden Restaurants, owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster, has run a Bahama Breeze Caribbean-style restaurant chain since 1996.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g AJP page M3 May 8, 2009 India Abroad
  2. ^ a b Shirley commends Golden Krust August 30, 2006 Jamaica Gleaner
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Emily Denitto Food Finds; The Revels You Know, The Revels You Don't May 1, 2005 New York Times
  5. ^ a b c Amy Waldman From a Flaky Foundation, a Food Empire April 26, 1998 New York Times
  6. ^ Louise Kramer For Ex-Nurses, Real Money's in Takeout Sunday, April 4, 2004 New York Times
  7. ^ Lizzie Smith Rihanna glams it up in bodycon mini dress... to go for a takeaway 28 July 2009 Daily Mail
  8. ^ a b Golden Krust Opens Fifth Restaurant in Atlanta Tuesday, July 21, 2009 Jamaica Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade
  9. ^ a b c d e Becky Aikman Jamaican fast food: The next big thing? Business Opportunities Journal
  10. ^ Jamaica National Overseas And Golden Krust (New York) February 18, 2005 Jamaica National Building Society
  11. ^ a b c Michelle Garcia [For N.Y. Caribbean Beef Patty Co., Business Is Cooking February 14, 2005; Page A03 Washington Post

External links[edit]