Small Business Spotlight: Happy’s Pizza

Posted: 04/15/16

Along Woodward Avenue, just north of West Grand Boulevard, you will find nestled between Detroit’s historic New Center and North End neighborhoods, a local pizzeria that believes in putting family and community first. Guided by those principals, owner Tony Yasso, is building his Happy’s Pizza franchise empire. At only 36 years old, Yasso’s entrepreneurial hustle has led him to open three of the most profitable and awarded locations in the region with stores serving the Plymouth-Evergreen area and Toledo, Ohio.  “The community and our dedication to excellence are the reasons why my team and I have been so successful,” said Yasso. “Like our corporate family, we built our business on putting our customers first and being community stewards.” Part of that stewardship comes in the form of hiring locally with approximately ninety five percent of his employees hired from the neighborhoods they serve.

Born into a family of entrepreneurs, Yasso’s drive comes from seeing his father grow a poultry farm from a few chickens to one of the most successful in their region in Iraq before immigrating with his family to the United States 13 years ago. “The transition to the U.S was difficult, but it has been our friends, family and supportive staff at the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce that helped us to adjust to our new life here,”said Yasso.

When he and his family first arrived in Detroit, Yasso found employment at Happy’s Pizza as a pizza maker. Through hard work, he was able to quickly move through the ranks to ultimately oversee store operations for Happy’s Pizza corporation, opening stores in the Midwest and in California. During his time in operations, Happy’s Pizza which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, grew to over 100 stores. But something was missing. Yasso’s desire to open his own store to make a difference to in the community and leave a legacy for his family had remained a burning desire since relocating to the U.S. With the support of his father and older brother, Yasso, took the leap of faith to open up his first location. “It really is a family affair here. It was my dad who believed in my vision and helped the fund my first store. Everyday both my dad and brother arrive at 5:30 a.m. to conduct all of the prep work for the day and help to manage the store,” said Yasso.

Happy’s Pizza is located at 7450 Woodward Avenue, Detroit 48202 between West Grand Boulevard and Custer. They are open seven days a week, Sundays 11 a.m. – Midnight, MondayThursday 10 a.m. – Midnight and FridaySaturday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Free parking is available in their adjacent lot along with delivery options throughout the Greater Downtown, New Center and North End neighborhoods. Cater services area also available to meet your every event need. For more information please call 313.874.5555 or visit ww.happyspizza.com.

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