Eegee’s has been a popular Tucson treat for more than 50 years.

“It’s hard to go anywhere and talk to someone who doesn’t know Eegee’s in Tucson or hasn’t worked here,” said Jennifer Islam, an Eegee’s Area Coach.

Islam knows all about the iconic brand in Southern Arizona. She’s been working at Eegee’s for 33 years.

The Absolutely Arizona history of Eegee’s goes back even further.

In 1971, two U of A gradsEd Irving and Bob Greenberggot the idea to bring Italian ices to the desert, right here in Tucson.

They first sold frozen lemonade out of a truck.

The name? It comes from the “E” in Ed and the “G” in Greenberg to form Eegee’s.

They soon added strawberry and pia colada to go long with the original lemonade.

As Eegee’s popularity grew, they added a flavor of the month, which turned out to be a stroke of marketing genius.

Today, the flavors of the month are found in 30 Eegee’s restaurants across the Tucson Metro, five more in Phoenix and one in Casa Grande.

“We have a lot of data that we use now on every month, our flavor of the month,” Eegee’s CEO Jason Vaughn said. “So we know…our menu mix, and our sales mix and what’s a fan favorite out there.”

According to Vaughn, that data shows Watermelon is number one in flavor of the month sales, followed by Orange Dream. Also very popular: Peach N’ Berry, Mango Tango and Lucky Lime.

Eegee’s is now introducing an extra mid-month flavor they’re calling the ‘Flavor Pop’.

“Allows us to introduce new flavors,” Vaughn explained. “See how our customers react and respond to that because a lot of times the guests are the ones telling us ‘hey, think about this flavor’, ‘hey can you think about that, can we try that?’ And we take that to heart. We go back into our test kitchen and we do our best to bring our customers what they’re asking for.”

That test kitchen is located on Ajo Way near Palo Verde Road, but is off limits to our cameras.

Vaughn did share how the process of finding a new flavor works.

“It’ll take us about 60 days,” said Vaughn. “We have to figure out what ingredients go in it. We do introduce real fruit into our Eegee’s. By the time we order ingredients, get it through the supply chain, test it a little bit in our lab, and test it in a storeto make sure the product came out okay and tastes the way we hoped it would, get customer feedbackwithin 60 to 70 says, if we want to put it on the calendar out in a restaurant, we can do it that quick.”

Vaughn says he encourages his workers to suggest new ideas for flavors. One suggestion has been a huge success: Cotton candy. Those sales are second only to Watermelon.

“We listen to our team,” explained Vaughn. “They come up with some great ideas. We’re going to roll out one in December called an ‘Icicle’. It’s got a great blue color. It’s got coconut sprinkled on top. That came from one of our team members.”

While Islam takes part in some of the new flavor taste testing, she’s still in search of the next flavorlike the upcoming September flavor pop ‘Watermelon Cucumber’.

“I wish I would have came up with Watermelon Cucumber, because that is an awesome flavor,” said Islam. “We’re all super excited to have that one come about.”

According to Vaughn, Eegee’s serves well over 1 million gallons of Eegee’s each year.

In October, Eegee’s will also introduce several sandwiches on a new pretzel bun.