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Happy Belly Food Group's Joey Turks Island Grill Announces the Signing of the Brand's First Franchisee for Scarborough, Ontario

03 April 2024

Toronto, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - April 3, 2024) - Happy Belly Food Group Inc. (CSE: HBFG) (OTCQB: VGANF) ("Happy Belly" or the "Company"), a leading consolidator of emerging food brands, is pleased to announce that it has signed a franchisee for Joey Turks Island Grill for Scarborough, Ontario. Joey Turks ("Joey Turks") a fast casual restaurant serving delicious original Caribbean Island recipes is a 100% owned subsidiary of Happy Belly Food Group.

"Today is an exciting day for Happy Belly Food Group. The signing of our first ever franchisee for our Joey Turks brand (our 35th signed franchised agreement across all brands in our portfolio) shows the execution of our brand plan in full motion. From launching the brand on July 7th, to the opening of our corporate location on November 26th, to our 30-unit Area Development agreement signed on January 9th, and now a signed franchisee. In under nine (9) months we have gone from conceptual menu design to store build to scaling for franchisee growth, and this brand is just getting started," said Sean Black, Chief Investment Officer of Happy Belly.

"We established this brand with the aim of delivering substantial value to our shareholders. Observing the absence of a definitive market leader in Canada, along with no appealing Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) or Fast Casual concept for acquisition, we recognized the opportunity to leverage our internal expertise and available capital to launch our own brand. Recognizing the significance of speed to market in introducing a new brand, we have swiftly implemented our accelerated growth strategy to execute on both corporate and franchised store locations.

"The organic growth and asset-light model of Joey Turks is no different than how we incubated and grew Mucho Burrito to be the market leader in Canada for fast casual Mexican when there were no other attractive options to us. We are using the same process to build and scale Joey Turks based on great food and great people. Mucho has grown to approximately 150 locations across north America, and we are using the same formula with Joey Turks.

"This is the first (1st) of thirty (30) contractually committed units in our Area Development agreement. As progress unfolds, we look forward to revealing specifics about our initial real estate location. Our overarching strategy has always been to focus on the development and growth of emerging brands within the food sector. Anticipating the continued rollout of our franchising initiative, we expect these new franchised locations to contribute to the company's overall revenue and profitability."

GreenStockNewsJoey Turks

About Joey Turks Island Grill
Joey Turks is a flavorful journey through the islands of the Caribbean, where the warmth and soul of every irresistible bite awaits. Our mission is to unlock the potential for widespread appreciation of authentic Island cuisine through a growing chain of island inspired restaurants. Joey Turks offers a tantalizing island-inspired menu, featuring a diverse array of dishes bursting with irresistible flavors. From savory jerk chicken and succulent island beef stew our menu captures the essence of the islands in every bite. Come Taste Paradise!

About Happy Belly Food Group
Happy Belly Food Group Inc. (CSE: HBFG) (OTCQB: VGANF) is a leading consolidator of emerging food brands.

For franchising inquiries please see www.happybellyfg.com/franchise-with-us/ or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Happy Belly Food Group
Shawn Moniz
Founder, Chief Executive Officer

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:

www: www.happybellyfg.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Interested parties please call: (604) 737-2303

Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release, which has been prepared by management.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

All statements in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are "forward-looking information" with respect to the Company within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur, and include the future performance of Happy Belly and her subsidiaries. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. There are uncertainties inherent in forward-looking information, including factors beyond the Company's control. There are no assurances that the business plans for Happy Belly described in this news release will come into effect on the terms or time frame described herein. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change except as required by law. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. For a description of the risks and uncertainties facing the Company and its business and affairs, readers should refer to the Company's Management's Discussion and Analysis and other disclosure filings with Canadian securities regulators, which are posted on www.sedarplus.ca.

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