James Hearn opened the first Hungry Howie's on Telegraph Road in Taylor, Michigan in 1973. Howies soon became a popular hangout for students at nearby Taylor Jr. High and Taylor Center High Schools. Jim Hearn decided to franchise their operation in 1982 and partnered with Jackson. They awarded their first franchise the following year. Between 1974 and 1982, there were several other independently owned Hungry Howie pizzarias opened in the Metro-Detroit and Ann Arbor areas prior to franchisee sales. Within the first three years, the company franchised 65 locations, and by 1990 the number had grown to 160. In 2005, the company opened its 500th store.
Hungry Howie's promotes itself as Home of the flavored crust pizza. The options are Original, Butter Garlic, Garlic, Garlic Herb, Onion, Cajun, Butter, Butter Cheese, Sesame, stuffed, Ranch, Oregano, and Buffalo Chip. Multiple crust flavors can be combined.