Happy Joe's First Minority Franchise Group Blazes Trails to Texas
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Happy Joe's First Minority Franchise Group Blazes Trails to Texas

Happy Joe's First Minority Franchise Group Blazes Trails to Texas

Happy Joe’s Pizza and Ice Cream is mapping out 2023 plans to expand the iconic brand’s presence into Texas in a significant way.

The move to capture a lucrative slice of markets in the Lone Star State for the iconic Midwestern pizza chain is spearheaded by entrepreneur Rickey McBride and HJ SMS OpCo LLC, a Black-owned business group and the first minority franchise owners for Happy Joe’s.

“This is a huge moment for us as an organization because we are diversifying as we continue to expand,” said Happy Joe’s CEO and Chief Happiness Officer Tom Sacco. “We are passionate about making great pizza and creating countless memories for everyone that comes into a Happy Joe’s. Having more minority, veteran, and female-owned franchisees allows us to gain a greater perspective on those core ideals as our footprint continues to grow. Ultimately, we want to reflect our guests across this great country that we call home.”

For McBride and franchise partners Bryan Shorter and the rest of their crew, owning the Happy Joe’s brand is a homecoming of sorts. The childhood friends-turned multi-unit franchisees have fond memories of birthday parties, team celebrations, and fun nights with family and friends at Happy Joe’s in the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa.

McBride has family in Texas, and the rest of the group has friends in Dallas-Fort Worth, making entry into the minority-majority population state an easy decision.

“We’re happy to be the first minority group of Happy Joe’s,” McBride told The Dallas Morning News. “To add jobs to areas that minorities are based in has been a goal for all the owners.”

McBride brings a background of business success to the family-centric restaurant chain as one of the nation’s largest suppliers of sea moss and a health food shop owner in Duluth, Georgia. The healthy option of cauliflower crust pizza at Happy Joe’s was one of many reasons he and his partners decided to expand with the beloved brand into the southern U.S.

The franchise group is targeting the vibrant North Texas area for its initial expansion. They plan to open the state’s first Happy Joe’s in the southern Dallas suburbs of Grand Prairie, Cedar Hill, or Arlington, Texas, in Tarrant County, before year-end. All three of these fast-growing cities have minority populations that are 40% or higher.

“There are lots of places you can get pizza, but there’s only one place that gives you a unique pizza experience like Happy Joe’s,” McBride said. “The brand is extremely creative with their offerings, and they have a wide variety of pizzas for every discriminating palate. Happy Joe’s knows how to treat people right, and they constantly come up with different options to bring in new guests.”

With stellar franchisees like McBride and his partners, Happy Joe’s continues to build momentum as a thriving franchise set for a busy 2023. Along with Texas, the Iowa-based brand, with 45 Midwest locations, has 28 restaurants in the development pipeline, including restaurants slated for Branson and St. Louis, Missouri; in the Florida Panhandle city of Navarre; and several others planned overseas in Egypt and the Middle East. Happy Joe’s has also been working on a partnership with Dr Pepper to create a Dr Pepper BBQ sauce aimed for a July release.

Ready to explore your award-winning opportunity to be part of the Happy Joe’s family? Visit happyjoes.com/franchising, email Kat Davidson at KatD@drhnow.com, or call 678-485-8413.


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Published: May 2nd, 2023

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