Lawrence Joseph Whitty was born in Minot, North Dakota in 1937. He was one of five children growing up on the Whitty family farm. Joe was trained as a baker and worked in the baking industry for several years. Later he supervised and managed a popular pizza restaurant. Joe began to develop his own ideas about a new restaurant concept he wanted to create. He knew that with his baking experience he could create a better tasting pizza than was currently being offered. He also heard his patrons planning to go out for ice cream after their meal, so Joe then decided that his concept would combine his unique pizzas with Ice Cream.
After several attempts to obtain financing and with the help of the SBA, Joe obtained a $30,000 loan and on November 16 1972 opened the doors to the first Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream Parlor in the Village of East Davenport, Iowa. The combination of innovative products, service and a fun atmosphere proved to be a huge success for Joe and our franchisees. Since then Happy Joe's continually researches and develops new and innovative concepts to ensure a competitive advantage.
Happy Joe Whitty has built success around a core menu of quality products and his specialty signature pizzas. New products are constantly being tested. Based on our guests' preferences, trends and Joe's past experience in the baking industry, Happy Joe’s has perfected many types of pizza dough and other creative food items which of course includes our famous Taco Pizza!
This is one of Happy Joe’s most important core values. When Lawrence Joseph Whitty, “Happy Joe,” opened the first Happy Joe’s in 1972 in the Village of East Davenport, Iowa, he was committed from day one to giving back to his community.
Now that Happy Joe’s is successful with over 60 locations in 6 different states, we remain dedicated and committed to giving back to the communities who have helped make us successful.
We have won numerous awards for our good works and involvement in community programs. We have also created a variety of programs for schools and organized groups.