HOUSTONAuto service franchisor Christian Brothers Automotive Corp. is on the move, building a new corporate headquarters in Houston and noting the opening of franchised locations in Oklahoma, Colorado, Idaho and North and South Carolina.
The dealership's new headquarters, a two-story, 35,460-sq.-ft. structure in west Houston, is designed to accommodate at least 70 employees when it opens, Christian Brothers said, with leasing options available for growth. The company did not say what it's investing in the building.
We have been blessed to grow tremendously over the last several years, and we are running out of space at our current headquarters, said Christian Brothers CEO and founder Mark Carr.
We want to provide a workplace fitting for our stellar team members who helped us to be named to Houston's Top Workplaces list for the past two years. This new state-of-the-art building will allow us to continue to expand and serve our 100+ franchise partners across the country.
The building incorporates a full-size Christian Brothers store office replica for training purposes along with the traditional office space amenities for employees. The site is adjacent to George Bush Park, which provides employees opportunities for exercise and enjoyment.
The company's new franchisees include two U.S. Army veterans who opened Christian Brothers Automotive franchised locations in recent weeks, expanding the automotive service franchisor's network to more than 125 locations in 20 states.
Army veterans Steve Tiller and Carl Garrett opened stores in Fort Mill, S.C., and Mooresville, N.C., respectively, while the husband-and-wife teams of Greg and Tina Joseph and Brett and Sandy Clancy opened locations in Highlands Ridge, Colo., and Meridian, Idaho.
Mr. Tiller, who co-owns the location in Fort Mill with his wife Joni, said, When you read about the mission and history of Christian Brothers Automotive, you'll notice words and phrases like honesty, integrity and quality service. These aren't just gratuitous words and phrases that sound good or that we use to market our brand. They're abiding principles that we believe in and implement every day with every customer.
Located about 18 miles south of Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the 5,000-sq.-ft. location serves the communities of Fort Mill and Tega Cay, S.C. The newly built store has nine service bays and offers an upscale lobby with a home-charm décor that features leather couches, decorative lighting, artwork and hardwood floors.
Mr. Tiller retired from the Army in July after a 28-year career, Christian Brothers said. This is the franchise group's first store in South Carolina.
Mr. Garrett, who returned from a nine-month tour of duty in Af-ghanistan in April, serving with Operation Enduring Freedom in the 207th Regional Support Group, said, Christian Brothers is very highly rated as a franchise system and operates as a partnership between the franchisor and franchise partner. That is exactly what I was looking for in a business opportunity.
The new 5,000-sq.-ft. location in western Mooresville offers nine service bays and the signature Christian Brothers' upscale lobby.
I am looking forward to serving the Mooresville community with excellent automotive repair, Mr. Garrett said. I know that customers will appreciate the nice difference we offer.
This is the second Christian Brothers' outlet in North Carolina.
In Colorado, Greg and Tina Joseph opened a nine-bay, 5,000-sq.-ft. location in Highlands Ranch, a growing unincorporated community on the southern edge of the Denver metro area.
Mr. Joseph said they are excited about having a business that will allow us to give back to the community in a way that honors the values that we strongly believe in.
We are looking forward to being involved with a business that truly operates at the highest level of integrity. We look forward to developing a new community of friends and business relationships within the Highlands Ranch area.
The Josephs recently relocated to the Denver area from Dallas, Christian Brothers said, where they had owned an import business for 18 years. They settled on a Christian Brothers franchise after an in-depth search for an opportunity that fit the level of integrity and community involvement that they wanted in a business, the franchisor said.
Christian Brothers outlets provide full-service automotive diagnostic testing and evaluation, maintenance programs and repair work for domestic and foreign vehicles. All Christian Brothers facilities are staffed with Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified technicians.
This is the sixth Christian Brothers outlet in Colorado.
In early October, husband and wife entrepreneurial team Shane and Kim Guldi, married 17 years, opened a Christian Brothers location in Norman, Okla., at 3050 Yarbrough Way, located on Interstate Drive on the east side of I-35.
The nearly 5,000-sq.-ft. location includes nine service bays, as well as an upscale lobby that features leather couches, decorative lighting, artwork and hardwood floors, according to Christian Brothers. The outlet also offers a courtesy shuttle vehicle and, for customers waiting for their vehicles to be serviced, free Wi-Fi, coffee and bottled water in the quiet lobby, the company said.
Kim and I are excited about the opportunity to serve our neighbors, not just through automotive repair, but through teaming up with our schools and local businesses to help them thrive, Shane Guldi said. He added that while the shop repairs vehicles with the latest equipmentthat's what we do, but we want to be a light to our communitythat's who we are. We are here for the long haul and look forward to building lasting relationships with people around us.
Mr. Guldi and his wife came to Oklahoma via Arkansas, where he received a bachelor of science degree in business management from the University of Arkansas and then later earned a master of Christian education from Nazarene Theological Seminary. The couple served for a while as elementary pastors at a Bethany First Church of the Nazarene in Oklahoma.
According to Christian Brothers, Mr. Guldi's father was a race car driver and an auto mechanic and Shane spent many years working with his dad and driving the cars, and feels that all of his lifelong experiences have perfectly prepared him to serve the community with their Christian Brothers automotive shop.
In Idaho, Seattle-area transplantsby way of FloridaBrett and Sandy Clancy are operating a 5,000-sq.-ft., nine-bay shop on the northern edge of Meridian.
We are excited to serve the Meridian community with integrity and excellence and provide the 'nice difference' that Christian Brothers is known for, Mr. Clancy said. Our aim is to show Meridian something different in automotive service. We look forward to building long-term relationships with our customers.
Originally from the Seattle area, the Clancys have been living in Plant City, Fla., for the past 16 years, Christian Brothers said. It was there that they learned about the Christian Brothers franchise business.
When looking for a place to open our shop, we jumped at the opportunity to get back to the northwest and be closer to family, Mr. Clancy said.
This is the first CBA outlet in Idaho.
Christian Brothers Automotive credits its business credo of applying Biblical principles to an industry that almost everyone needs, but few trust, for its growth.
Our franchises are locally owned by Christians who value their reputations in the community and who want to give their customers a safe haven in the auto repair industry, the company states.
CBA's Mr. Carr opened the first CBA location in Houston in 1982 and began franchising the concept in 1996. The company is growing at a pace of 15 to 20 stores annually and claims a 100-percent success rate so far, never having closed a location.