Completely happy Joe’s, residence of the primary taco pizza, is making large strikes in 2023. After breaking floor on new worldwide places final summer season, the beloved Midwestern quick-service chain is planning to enter the Lone Star State.
New franchisee group HJ SMS OpCo, LLC is main the model’s enlargement into north Texas, with plans to open a brand new Completely happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream location in both Grand Prairie, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, DeSoto, or Arlington. The group is Completely happy Joe’s first minority- and Black-led franchisee, and member Rickey McBride is worked up to take this historic step ahead with a model he grew up with.
McBride and his companions look again fondly on their recollections of the long-lasting pizza parlor. Every of them grew up within the Quad Cities space of Iowa and Illinois, with Completely happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream a constant supply of nice meals and enjoyable. A Davenport Central Excessive alum, McBride stated he celebrated many birthday events, sports activities crew wins, and enjoyable nights out at Completely happy Joe’s, consuming pizza and taking part in video games to his coronary heart’s content material.
“Completely happy Joe’s has at all times been family-oriented,” McBride stated. “It was at all times someplace the place children might play whereas mother and father converse.”
McBride attended Georgia Southern College and went on to turn into a profitable enterprise proprietor in Atlanta. At present, McBride is certainly one of America’s largest suppliers of sea moss and runs a well being meals retailer in Duluth, Georgia. When he observed that Completely happy Joe’s launched a brand new, more healthy cauliflower pizza crust possibility, he knew it was time to succeed in out to the model.
The group hopes to open its first location by the tip of the 2023 summer season season. Every of its high decisions are areas in Texas with 40% or greater minority populations. This was a giant issue of their location search, because the Black-owned group goals to carry new jobs to those numerous areas. McBride stated his group’s final aim is to open Texas’ first Completely happy Joe’s within the multi-unit settlement within the southern Dallas suburbs of Grand Prairie or Cedar Hill. Nonetheless, if it isn’t they aren’t capable of finding the fitting location in both of those neighborhoods, the group will look to close by Arlington as an alternative.
As McBride defined in a latest press launch, “We’re blissful to be the primary minority group of Completely happy Joe’s. So as to add jobs to areas that minorities are based mostly in has been a aim for all of the house owners.”
Because of the group’s shut ties with each household and pals within the Dallas-Fort Price space, entry into this new market was a simple determination. With Texas being one of many few minority-majority states within the U.S., McBride and firm noticed a novel alternative to carry Completely happy Joe’s Midwestern allure to new audiences. That’s why as soon as the chance offered itself, the franchisee group shortly took motion.
“There are many locations you will get pizza, however there’s just one place that provides you a novel pizza expertise like Completely happy Joe’s,” stated McBride. “The model is extraordinarily artistic with their choices, and so they have all kinds of pizzas for each discriminating palate. Completely happy Joe’s is aware of the best way to deal with individuals proper, and so they consistently give you totally different choices to herald new company — two issues that I at all times search for with my enterprise ventures. I can’t specific how excited my group is to not simply be the primary minority-owned franchises, however to even be the primary ones bringing Completely happy Joe’s to Texas.”
Based in 1972, Completely happy Joe’s opened its first location in Bettendorf, Iowa. With its give attention to family-friendly enjoyable and distinctive pizzas, the chain shortly grew right into a Midwestern sensation. Their unique Taco Joe pizza was the primary of its type and set the usual for culinary innovation the model is understood for right now. At present, the model oversees three firm places and 45 franchise places all through the Midwest, Florida, and Egypt.
For the corporate’s Chief Happiness Officer and CEO, Tom Sacco, this new enlargement into Texas represents a giant step ahead for the model. “This can be a large second for us as a company as a result of we’re diversifying as we proceed to develop,” he famous in a February launch. “We’re captivated with making nice pizza and creating numerous recollections for everybody that comes into Completely happy Joe’s. Having extra minority-, veteran- and female-owned franchises permits us to achieve larger perspective on these core beliefs as our footprint continues to develop. In the end, we wish to mirror our company throughout this nice nation that we name residence.”
He continued, “We’re thrilled to current our first Black-owned franchise group in February as a tribute to Black Historical past Month, as Completely happy Joe’s continues to develop its ‘Completely happy Locations’ and iconic pizza choices throughout the southern U.S.”
Whereas a primary location has but to be decided, McBride and his pals turned enterprise companions are greater than able to carry the Completely happy Joe’s model to Texas. Over the subsequent few years, the group will proceed to spearhead new places farther south, making certain pizza followers from throughout the state, and across the globe, can benefit from the iconic Completely happy Joe’s expertise.
Persevering with a 12 months of World Enlargement
This latest transfer into Texas comes on the heels of worldwide development. In 2022, the quick-service restaurant began its Center East enlargement, first placing roots down within the suburbs of Cairo in Egypt. And whereas that is the restaurant’s first trendy world enlargement into the Center East, it’s truly not the primary time the model has opened a location overseas.
Within the Nineteen Eighties and ’90s, founder “Completely happy Joe” Whitty partnered with Egyptian franchisee Mohamed Magdy Elbatran and his two brothers. This collaboration led to the opening of a number of places in Cairo, with one location particularly well-known for its design: It was formed like an historical Egyptian barge on the Nile.
And, as destiny would have it, this earlier partnership was the right groundwork for the model’s trendy world technique. As Sacco defined, it began with the restaurant getting consideration from new potential franchisees.
“We had gotten some press about our model’s enlargement and had two totally different teams attain out to us over the identical four-month time-frame expressing curiosity in bringing Completely happy Joe’s to Egypt and the Center East,” he stated.
Certainly one of these teams was led by skilled entrepreneur Ahmed Elbatran, Mohamed’s son. Because of their earlier familiarity with the model, Sacco and the Completely happy Joe’s crew determined to maneuver ahead with Ahmed and his group, H.J. Center East LLC. A family-owned enterprise group, Ahmed, its president, is working alongside his father in addition to relations Abeer Ahmed Abdelhalim Elkabbany and Zina Mohamed Magdy Elbatran to carry Completely happy Joe’s magic to North Africa and the Center East.
“After signing our grasp franchise settlement final fall, we’re thrilled to start out opening our doorways over the subsequent few months,” stated Ahmed Elbatran. “Nothing compares to Completely happy Joe’s one-of-a-kind enjoyable and family-friendly environment in your complete Center East and North Africa area. So, we are able to’t wait to carry the long-lasting model again to Egypt beneath the brand new management, imaginative and prescient, and vitality that Chief Happiness Officer, CEO, and President Tom Sacco has reenergized Completely happy Joe’s model with. We’re trying ahead to bringing the neighborhood collectively, creating lifelong magical recollections at Completely happy Joe’s.”
Ahmed and his household kicked off the summer season 2022 season by opening their first location within the Cairo suburb of Roxy, Heliopolis. The placement shortly grew to become a fan favourite, with the opening weekend drawing large crowds and contours of households stretched out the door. With such an unimaginable opening weekend, it shortly grew to become clear that there’s a actual urge for food for distinctive pizzas, ice cream, and family-centric enjoyable within the Egyptian market. Inside only a few weeks of opening, Completely happy Joe’s first Egyptian location already tracked 22% greater foot site visitors than its U.S. counterpart.
After a profitable opening in Roxy, H.J. Center East L.L.C. will open its subsequent location within the Giza suburb of Sodic, adopted the subsequent week by one other opening near New Cairo, referred to as Lotus. Once more, crowds surged into the brand new quick-service restaurant, desirous to expertise the America-based chain. As workers grew to become extra educated in regards to the model, the spot launched new dishes and handy options for company. In the present day, Egyptian pizza followers can get their favourite pies delivered and might get pleasure from weekday buffets and weekend brunch. To this point, the most well-liked objects on the menu are the Rooster Ranch Pizza, BBQ Beef Pizza, Pepperoni Pizza, milkshakes, and the model’s well-known Rooster Taco Joe Pizza.
Over the subsequent few years, the group plans to open a further eight places throughout Cairo, together with spots within the Mall of Arabia and the Mall of Egypt. Wanting past Egypt, the franchisee group has additionally been awarded 25 further items for enlargement, with their sights on Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi within the United Arab Emirates.
As Completely happy Joe’s grows from Midwestern-based crowd-pleaser to world celebrity, CEO Tom Sacco sees all of this as an indication of even larger issues to come back. “We couldn’t be prouder of the work that Ahmed and his crew have performed on this unimaginable opening in Roxy,” he defined. “We’ve even been capable of be taught from this expertise and will probably be testing out some modifications the H.J. Center East crew made to the Rooster Ranch Pizza and the BBQ Beef Pizza in choose U.S. markets. Now, we’re totally anticipating Ahmed and his crew to provide file gross sales on their subsequent opening in west Giza, beginning with a wonderful preopening celebration, together with U.S. and Egypt authorities dignitaries, skilled athletes, and a powerful media buzz.”
Ahmed Elbatran and his household are thrilled to carry the Completely happy Joe’s expertise to their residence nation. Working alongside Sacco, the group will proceed to spearhead the corporate’s North African and Center Jap enlargement, tailoring every location to satisfy the distinctive wants of its prospects. For instance, new worldwide menus will assist eating places cater to native tastes, with new Egyptian places set to develop their seafood and rooster choices.
Persevering with his father’s legacy is a giant milestone for Ahmed, who can’t wait to see the corporate develop overseas.
“Completely happy Joe’s is a lot greater than only a scrumptious pizza restaurant, and I can’t look forward to individuals on this a part of the world to expertise a spot the place children and households create and have fun memorable moments collectively,” Elbatran stated in a latest press launch. “Pizza supply is broadly widespread in Egypt, and we’ll supply it, however nothing on this space compares to the magical dine-in environment at Completely happy Joe’s. We’re proud to introduce this iconic model to the Center East and proceed rising it all through the area.”