Brad and Crystal Escue—co-owners of Christian Brothers Automotive in Leander—said they plan to change that, one customer at a time.
“The one thing we push here is honesty,” Brad said. “We want to be the most honest business in town.”
Only a couple of years ago, the Escues were living in Houston and raising two young daughters. Brad was a firefighter—he said he worked 72 hours or more per shift—while his wife, Crystal, was a teacher.
Although they said they were happy in Houston—Brad had been a firefighter there for approximately 15 years—they were looking for a better place to raise children.
“We were ultimately looking for better options for our young family,” Brad said.
After what both described as “a lot of prayer,” the Escues moved to Leander in 2018 and opened the city’s first Christian Brothers Automotive, an auto repair service.
The shop, on 120 E. Sonny Drive, celebrated its one-year anniversary in August.
The Escues said they decided on Leander because of its close-knit community and above-average schools, while Christian Brothers Automotive’s faith-based philosophy meshed with the family’s Christian beliefs.
“That was one of the reasons why Christian Brothers spoke to us,” Brad said, “and they lead the business in honesty and fairness and how people want to be treated.”
According to the company’s website, the slogan for Christian Brothers—which has more than 180 locations across the U.S—is from Matthew 22:39: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
To the family business, that means “treat your customers the way you’d like to be treated,” Brad said.
Unlike most auto repair businesses, the shop is closed on the weekends to give employees time with their families, Brad said.
“We want our employees to have a day for family [Saturday] and a day for prayer [Sunday],” Brad said. “They need their Saturdays for soccer games, baseball games, things like that.”
Monday through Friday, the shop covers nearly all vehicle maintenance, from oil changes to engine replacements, Brad said.
“It’s easier to explain what we don’t do instead of what we do,” he said. “We don’t do new tire sales, and we don’t do body work. We do everything else.”
The Escues say they have settled into Leander, and the community has embraced both their family and their business.
“The partnerships and the friendships from our community have been amazing,” Brad said.
The Escues said they have also help their neighbors whenever possible.
“We’re invested in this community,” Crystal said.
Recently they serviced two vehicles from the Dell Children’s Blood and Cancer Center at no charge. They also helped a family with a 2-year-old girl battling leukemia by performing $3,400 in auto repairs—at no cost to the family.
“We got 90 percent of the parts donated, and my whole team stuck around one night and did all that work for free,” Brad said.
In October, the business also provided free oil changes for police and fire department personnel.
“God sends them to us, and it’s our responsibility to share that love we have,” Brad said.