TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Eegee's has been a Tucson favorite for more than 50-years. Now, it is under new leadership.
Jason Vaughn is the man with the plan to take Eegee's national.
"Eegee's might be one of the worst best kept secrets around the country right now," Vaugn said in an exclusive interview with KGUN 9.
Vaughn was well aware of Eegee's reputation even before taking over last month as Eegee's new chief executive officer.
Named 'One of the Most Influential CEOs in the Country' by Nation's Restaurant News, Vaughn has led operations at Yum! Brands as well as at Wendy's.
Vaughn is a big fan of the popular frozen treat. A treat that has now made it up to Phoenix, with four stores opening in the last year.
"We can at least double currently what we have and maybe triple over the next two to two and-a-half years," said Vaughn referring to expansion in Phoenix.
Vaughn has a less aggressive, more strategic plan to expand Eegee's beyond Arizona. He wants to take Tucson's most successful local restaurant chain national.
"We feel like we have a good straw man of where we want to head to," explained Vaughn. "We know we want to continue to start out in warm weather climates. People that are cities and states that maybe aren't too far from Arizona."
Vaughn did give KGUN 9 a hint that the first state for expansion is likely California.
But he is adamant that even with national expansion, Tucsonans have nothing to worry about when it comes to their hometown favorite, which started in 1971.
This is our legacy, this is our heritage. We embrace that. When we go out and build and move into other states we plan on bringing a piece of Tucson out there. First and foremost it's Eegee's, is the Tucson, but that special part of whether it's the artwork or the wink or the Eegee colors, that's going to continue on through the country. What I want you to know is that while we might make some shifts and little changes out in some different states or cities, everybody is still going to recognize their Eegee's. We're going to be here for them.
Vaughn says this commitment to the Tucson area includes new Eegee's opening next month in Sahuarita and in a couple of months on Ajo Way.
Pat Parris is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. He is a graduate of Sabino High School where he was the 1982 high school state track champion in the 800 meters. While in high school and college, he worked part-time in the KGUN 9 newsroom. Share your story ideas and important issues with Pat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.