Daren Hawthorne was born to Jamaican parents and raised as a first generation American in Westchester County, NY. Growing up, Daren spent many summers working at the family business, Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, where he was a baker, cashier, and server.
Later, he joined the Golden Krust team of Concept Development Strategists also known as the “think tank,” while completing both his undergraduate and law school studies. Despite growing up in a family business, Daren has always valued the importance of education. Daren pursued his undergraduate studies at American University in the Nation’s Capital, and his law degree at Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Chancellor’s Leadership Award, and the distinction of graduating first in his law school class.
After law school, Daren migrated back to New York and physically joined Golden Krust as the Real Estate Development Coordinator, and he was later promoted to Corporate Counsel, and subsequently to Executive Vice President of Franchising & Corporate Counsel.
Presently, Daren serves as the company’s President, Restaurants. In this capacity, Daren is tasked with overseeing the marketing and public relations, design & construction, franchise operations, franchise sales and development, and franchise compliance departments, respectively. These departments support the entire franchise system, which is comprised of over 120 locations that span across 9 states and 2 countries, with system wide revenue exceeding $100 million dollars.
Daren also serves as a board member to Golden Krust Franchising, Inc., Irie Jam Radio, Inc., and One Caribbean, Inc.
Daren is a recent recipient of The Network Journal “Forty Under 40” award, which honors men and women whose professional accomplishments have significantly impacted an industry, while simultaneously contributing to their community.