When Harpreet Singh was a child, his mother started calling him Happy. “She said I used to smile a lot as a kid,” says Harpreet. “Happy has been my nickname ever since.” In late 2016, Happy started delivering pizza for Pagliacci Pizza at Main Street in Bellevue. Soon he learned of the Driver Trophy, which is held by the driver with the longest complaint-free streak. “That was my goal,” says Happy. “I said I’m going to get my hands on that cup. I kept working hard for that.”
“The Driver Trophy is a little like the Stanley Cup,” says Matt Galvin, co-owner of Pagliacci. “It’s a source of great pride for the driver and the location that holds it.”
Happy took every delivery he could. “Big or small, it doesn’t matter, I’ll take it. I check everything three or four times before I reach the door to be sure I don’t make a mistake,” he says.
In late 2020, Happy rose to the top of the list—nearly 20,000 deliveries without a single complaint. “Last year, when I found out I became the number one driver, that was one of the happiest things,” he says. “Finally, my hard work paid off. Unfortunately, the other guy, who was at 30,000, made a mistake with the cookie dough. I was like, Damn, that sucks. At the same time, I was happy, too, that I’m going to get my name on the trophy.”
“Happy is one of my favorite people to interact with,” says Jeff Maneval, an area manager for Pagliacci who oversees the Main Street store. “Happy has a really strong work ethic. He’s as efficient as possible without speeding on the roads. He’s a really good guy to go to. If you have a problem, he’s going to help you solve it.”
Happy arrived in Seattle from Vancouver, BC, where he spent several years. He needed a change. One of his dad’s friends lived in Seattle and offered to help him get rooted in Seattle. “My life was going south,” he says, speaking of his time in Vancouver. “I think I made a great move,” he says. “I love the life here.”
“When I started at Pagliacci, there were many pizzas I couldn’t pronounce correctly,” says Happy. “My manager really helped me. There were things like artichokes that I’d never had before. I fell in love with the pizza. We have the best pizza for sure. After six months, I met Matt, the owner. He seemed like a really nice guy, and he knew my name. I was like, you know this guy has more than 800 employees, and he knows my name. I feel like this is a family business, and I’m a part of the family.”
After roughly eight months at Pagliacci, Happy was promoted to driver lead. The position involves interviewing other drivers, training them, and scheduling the driver team at Main Street. In 2020, Pagliacci recognized Happy’s contributions with the Service Beyond Expectation, a company-wide award.
Many regular customers have come to know Happy not just for his flawless service but also for his smile and friendly nature. Not only has he learned their names, but also their dog’s names. “Unfortunately, with the pandemic, now I can't pet any of the dogs,” he says. But during the pandemic, many customers have let him know how grateful they are for his work. One regular customer who had already tipped when she placed her order saw that it was Happy coming to her door. She asked him to wait a moment then returned with an envelope. “In it was a note saying, You’re the best pizza driver I’ve ever had, along with twenty dollars,” he says. “Even without the money, that note would have made my week.”
This July, Happy won Pagliacci’s box folding competition and earned an all-expenses-paid trip to Vegas to compete in the World Pizza Games at The International Pizza Expo—and won! He’s now officially the fastest box folder in the country and a thousand dollars richer.
“I didn’t expect to win,” Happy says. “Fortunately, my time in the first round just qualified me to advance to the finals by half a second. I was the first to go in the finals, and I just smacked it out of the park. The boxes were nice to me. It felt real good.”
In addition to the competition, Happy took in a show with the other five Pagliacci competition winners, a fancy dinner, and a bit of gambling. “The whole trip was a fun time,” says Happy.
Meanwhile, his streak of complaint-free deliveries—and smiles on customers’ faces—continues to grow.