Christian Brothers

Franchise owners Jan and Mike Sampeck and team pose for a photo at a ribbon cutting for Christian Brothers Automotive Celina.

Jan and Mike Sampeck first got the green light to open a franchise location of Christian Brothers Automotive in Celina five years ago, but with property issues causing delays, they weren’t able to open their doors until this month.

The couple said they knew the venture would be worth the wait.

“We felt so sure we wanted to do this — we felt so connected to the purpose and mission,” Jan Sampeck said.

Opened June 1, the Celina location at 4075 S. Preston Road is number 241 for the faith-based automotive repair shop, which got its start in Houston in 1982. The Sampecks have long had their eye on the franchise, knowing it would combine their passions — Mike has a history in business management and has founded pharmaceutical startups in the past, while Jan has been a pastor for over 21 years.

At first, they were told opening a franchise would mean relocating to a new state, which they were willing to do — but just before a move to Colorado, they prompted the company to check once more if they could envision a location in the Celina area where the Sampeck family lives. That’s when they got the go-ahead to open one in their hometown.

Faith plays a big role in the day-to-day at Christian Brothers. The team starts the morning with a group prayer, and as customers come in, they try to be an ear for them — or in the case of the Sampecks’ English Springer Spaniel, Tucker, an ear to scratch.

It also factors into their relationship with customers and the community, Jan Sampeck said. She makes lunch and cookies for visitors daily, and the team doesn’t upsell. They make an effort to participate in community events, such as Splash & Blast at Old Celina Park this weekend, and they also host a single parents’ event once a year, where parents can bring in vehicles for free oil changes and minor repairs.

The efforts are all part of what drew the Sampecks to Christian Brothers and what continues to drive them, Jan Sampeck said.

“When we finally got in the doors, it was just the answer to prayer, and we felt like a blessing and a gift to really build community and find people that you just build family with,” she said.

To learn more about Christian Brothers Automotive Celina, visit them on Facebook.

AMBER GAUDET can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @amb_balam.

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