According to KWQC TV, the founder of “Happy Joe’s” restaurants died early today at the age of 82.
Lawrence Joseph “Happy Joe” Whitty was a North Dakota native who moved to Davenport in 1966. In 1972, he opened the first “Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream” in the Village of East Davenport.
According to the company’s website, there are now 45 “Happy Joe’s” locations in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and Missouri. Whitty has been semi-retired from the family-run business.
The pizza chain has claimed to be the first to offer “taco” pizza on its menu.