Happy Joe’s, which has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, has vacated its former Bettendorf headquarters at 2705 Happy Joe Drive.

“They vacated their building in Bettendorf with no notice,” landlord Justin Sloan said Saturday via text. “I found out about their bankruptcy when we received their keys instead of their rent check.”

“The last correspondence we had with anyone at the company was May 6th. They gave no notice or attempt to work anything out, just locked up and ran in the middle of the night,” Sloan told Local 4 News.

“I have my family to feed and responsibilities to our lenders. We will be fully pursuing all legal options as they go through bankruptcy.” Sloan said.

“This one is really frustrating and one I’m emotional about. This was a place I used to have my birthday parties at when I was a kid.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic when Happy Joe’s couldn’t pay rent, “I gave them extreme discounts and traded rent for them donating pizza to front line workers,” he said.

”I’ve done everything possible to help keep them there and be successful, and to hear nothing for months and then for them to be gone truly hurts, both mentally and financially,” Sloan said.

“I’m only telling this because if I was a franchisee or future franchisee thinking of investing my hard earned money into a company like this and opening a location, I’d want to know who I was getting into business with.”

Chapter 11

Happy Joe’s Pizza filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month. The filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware is dated Sept. 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.”

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.