Happy Joe’s Pizza filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month, court records indicate.
The filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware is dated September 2.
That day, Happy Joe’s sent out a news release about a “transformational journey.” In it, the company disclosed that Happy Joe’s CEO Tom Sacco “filed a plan of reorganization on two of the four corporate entities.”
While bankruptcy was not mentioned, reorganization and restructuring were.
“While nobody wants to put a company through a restructuring, it was the right thing to do for the long-term health and continued growth of the iconic Happy Joe’s brand,” Sacco said in the news release. “When I arrived at Happy Joe’s, I figured out really quick where the problems were. With COVID wreaking havoc on our industry, expensive sale-leasebacks of company-owned restaurants taking place just prior to my arrival, a significant increase in food costs exacerbated by supply chain issues, and an ever more difficult labor market, our challenges kept increasing exponentially.”
The news release came just days after the closings of the Eldridge and Maquoketa locations were announced and less than a month after the Rockingham Road location in Davenport closed.
The company claims “the vast majority of Happy Joe’s 50-plus locations are highly profitable.”
According to the bankruptcy filing, the company has $1,908,481.29 in total assets, down from $2,090,675.43 a year prior.
It also listed a significant decrease in cash in less than a year’s time. According to the documents, the company’s cash balance dropped from $2,141,948.11 on October 1, 2021 to $290,528.84 on July 31, 2022.
That’s a drop of $1,851,419.27.