Bob Morris was a partner in a civil engineering firm in Atlanta when he first did work with Christian Brothers Automotive.
“I’ve been very impressed with Christian Brothers,” he says. “They’ve got an incredible business model.”
Now, he’s a franchisee for the Houston-based company and is officially opening Wichita’s first Christian Brothers at 1302 N. Woodlawn on Wednesday, though there’s a soft opening going on now.
“It’s just a great place to be a good businessman and show honesty and integrity,” Morris says.
He says the Christian Brothers mission is to offer an ethical alternative in an industry “that hasn’t always had the best reputation.”
The business offers full-service automotive repair, but no paint or body jobs.
“It’s upscale,” Morris says. “It’s a very clean place where people can come and feel like they’re visiting a doctor’s office.”
There are hardwood floors, leather furniture, nice art, soft drinks and free rides while cars are being repaired.
There are nine service bays. The business is starting with six employees and can grow to a dozen as the business grows.
The chain, which has more than 135 stores open in 18 states and 35 in development, has plans to open on the west side as well. Franchisees Jesse and Rachel Schemm, who are moving from Goodland, are opening a store on 29th Street just east of North Maize Road.
That store likely will open around the beginning of the third quarter.
Morris says the chain offers an alternative “to some of the things that people have been dealing with” in the automotive industry.
He calls it “just a great place to do right by our customers.”