The sub sandwich king of Southern Arizona now has a new owner.
Fast food stalwart eegee’s was purchased by a partnership of 39 North Capital and restaurant investor Kitchen Fund.
The sale, the terms of which were not released, was announced on Oct. 10. The chain has 24 locations in the Tucson region, and was put up for sale earlier this year. The chain, which was founded in 1971, was previously sold in 2006 by CEO Foods.
In a statement announcing the sale, eegee’s CEO Ron C. Petty expressed excitement at the infusion of capital that 39 North, a New York Firm investing on behalf of Eastbridge Group, will bring for the local chain. Petty said the partnership is a positive move for eegee’s, its employees and customers, and that 39 North’s investment will enable the company to “supercharge” its growth, expand its footprint, remodel restaurant exteriors and invest in new technology.
Just as important, Petty said 39 North will continue the family-owned-and-operated tradition on which eegee’s was founded. 39 North Capital operates in the U.S. out of New York which focuses “on family and founder-owned businesses,” according to a company press release.
Greg Golkin, who serves as a managing partner of Kitchen Fund, said he’s excited to see how far the eegee’s brand-known for its frozen fruit drinks, French fries with homemade ranch dressing and fresh sandwiches-can go with the financial boost.
“We look at restaurant brands across the country and rarely have we seen a brand that has built such an authentic and longstanding relationship with its guests,” Golkin said in a release. “We have known the 39 North team for a while and have long admired their patient investment approach. We are thrilled to work on this opportunity with them.”
Even though the ownership of eegee’s no longer rests in Tucson, customers shouldn’t expect any major changes to their beloved sandwiches and iced-beverages. And that’s coming directly from Petty, who spoke with Tucson Local Media after news broke of the sale earlier this month.
“Over the next 24 months, our focus is to grow that Tucson market and make sure that we have eegee’s everywhere,” Petty said. “We need to deliver the convenience factor to the customer.”
That effort to expand throughout Tucson could include as many as eight new stores, Petty said. After Tucson, the company has its sights set on bigger markets.
“We already have a store in Casa Grande that’s been there for five years,” Petty said. “And it’s a very successful store. So, our next move, once we finish out the Tucson market, would be to go to Phoenix…the logical place to go.”
Petty added that eegee’s will continue its fundraising operations to benefit local charities, maintain a focus on environmentally-conscience initiatives, and keep its current management team in place.
And, don’t worry: You can still find eegee’s at all the University of Arizona games.
Contributions to this story were made by Christopher Boan and Logan Burtch-Buus.