• New franchisees Heather Avery and Leslie Boynton have a combined 18 years of leadership and supervisory experience at Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream.
  • Avery hopes to inspire young women to follow their dreams and to show that “it’s possible to be a strong female owning a business while balancing a family, homework and play dates.”

Two longtime Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream managers are set to become the chain’s newest franchisees in Illinois, the company has announced.

Leslie Boynton and Heather Avery have a combined 18 years of leadership and supervisory experience. Boynton will take over operations at a new Happy Joe’s store in Galesburg, while Avery will continue the brand’s presence as the new owner and operator of a location in Kewanee.

“We are so honored to have veteran Happy Joe’s management take over our two Illinois locations,” said CEO/Chief Happiness Officer Tom Sacco. “They truly understand our business and have the passion to create a fun family atmosphere that brings smiles to the community every day. We look forward to the future of Happy Joe’s with them and plan to continue our expansion across the state soon.”

Boynton brings a total of eight years of experience with Happy Joe’s from her start as an assistant manager and has served as the store’s general manager for the past two years. She trained at the Eldridge, Iowa location and credits the interactions she, her team and customers had with founder Joe Whitty and Sacco’s support as her motivation for wanting a Happy Joe’s location of her own.

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“Every day for the past eight years I’ve been grateful to be part of inspiring so many smiles from our valued guests and community members,” Boynton said. “I adored Happy Joe’s founder and learned a lot from watching how he treated people. I want to ensure everyone who comes into our Galesburg location feels the same way Joe made everyone feel—welcomed, taken care of, and happy!”

Avery started off as a server at age 14, worked her way up to shift coach at 26 and then was promoted to general manager. Her former supervisor and mentor, Robert Plum, passed away last year, and a memorial will be made in his honor at the Kewanee location.

As a Happy Joe’s franchisee, Avery said she wants to serve as an inspiration for young women to follow their dreams. “I’m excited to show my children that it’s possible to be a strong female owning a business while balancing a family, homework and play dates,” Avery said. “While working at Happy Joe’s, I learned the value of good customer service and how to treat people well. I am beyond honored to be a franchisee for a company that makes people happy and contributes to the community.”

Whitty founded Happy Joe’s in 1972 in Davenport, Iowa. The company has eight company-owned locations and 34 franchise stores throughout the Midwest. To learn more about Happy Joe’s franchising opportunities, email Kat Davidson at KatD@drhnow.com or call 678-485-8413.

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