CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Meineke Car Care Centers network grew by four outlets recently, including two opened by first-time franchisees.
The locations opened by new franchisees are in Mobile, Ala., and Virginia Beach, Va., while current franchise owner Victor Palacio opened a second store, in Boynton Beach, Fla., and Meineke of Central Arkansas' new shop in Conway, Ark., is the first of as many as seven new stores the franchisee plans to open in central Arkansas in the coming five years.
In Mobile, the new owners are Kenneth, Albert J. and Evan J. Kleban, three generations of Klebans who operate Kleban Properties, a real estate and franchise management company.
Joanna Hanson, a former retail manager at Firestone Complete Auto Care and general manager with Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack, is listed as the manager of the Klebans' Meineke venture.
The store — the first Meineke location in the greater Mobile metro area — is located on the far west side of Mobile near the University of South Alabama. Meineke did not disclose the size of the facility.
The Virginia Beach store is owned by John Nowacek, a health care industry veteran.
The new location, in a building that previously housed a Maaco Collision Repair franchise, is the third Meineke outlet in Virginia Beach and ninth in the greater Norfolk, Va., metro area.
Both Maaco and Meineke are Driven Brands Inc. franchises.
Mr. Palacio's new shop is located in a five-bay building that formerly housed FT Auto Service & Tires. The shop is bilingual and employs ASE-certified technicians, Meineke said.
Mr. Palacio, a native of Columbia, opened his first Meineke location in 2012 in Wilton Manors, Fla., a north Fort Lauderdale suburb about 30 miles south of Boynton Beach.
The Conway shop — located in a former H2Oil quick-lube location — is Meineke of Central Arkansas' second location since opening for business in 2016. Todd Richardson, the franchisee's chief operating officer and long-time Conway resident, will be the store manager.
"Our primary focus will be on providing honest, accurate and convenient automobile maintenance and repair for people in and around our community," said Jim Alley, president and CEO of Meineke of Central Arkansas, who noted that his company intends to offer consumer education classes at his shops.
Dave Schaefers, chief development officer for the Arkansas franchise group, said, "Central Arkansas will be a great area for Meineke to showcase its services in a new market that is ready for the next generation of automotive repair and maintenance."
The business anticipates creating 40 jobs once all of the planned shops are open.
There are now nearly 800 Meineke locations in operation in 48 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, with as many as 20 more in the pipeline for opening soon, according to information posted on the franchisor's website.