- About AOCA
- AOCA Talk
|AOCA Member Spotlight|
Ike Cegielski- Owner
Roadway Lube Plus, LLC
How long have you been in the oil change industry? How did you first get involved?
I began working in the oil change industry in the mid 1970's at my father's full service gas station and car care center. I left the family business in late 1980's to pursue a law enforcement career and returned to help my father due to his cancer treatments in 2000. I took over his scaled back version of the business in 2004 and returned to providing oil changes as a featured service in 2014.
Tell us about your business
Roadway Lube Plus, LLC is a customer service oriented business where the customer is treated like a long time family friend. We try to have fun with customers and give them something to laugh about or at least smile. Its commonplace for customers to bring their neighbors or friends just to see how we do things. I say all the time if I have to be seriously stern and not have fun being with the customers then I'll go back to law enforcement or just stay home. We provide basic oil change services at a reasonable price and state safety/emissions inspections with a flair of the old full service gas station treatment.
What do you enjoy most about this line of work?
My Customers! I get some of the most awesome people come to me for their annual inspections and oil changes. I have many multiple generations in a family that come to my shop. My shop decor is old gas and oil memorabilia with items from my father's gas station and other antique auto related items that my customers bring to contribute to the displays. They get a kick out of the items displayed and its fun listening to the stories they tell about items they are bringing to add to the shop collection. I'm going to need a bigger shop if folks keep bringing stuff for the collection. I absolutely love providing services to the customer that is often more than expected by them and do so like we did when I worked for my father. In many ways it has become a way for me to honor his memory by servicing the customer's needs in the same manner he did and taught me to do.
What are some of the biggest challenges of running your business?
The biggest challenge and obstacles I have come across are employee related. I ran the business early on with just my wife and myself, or as a one man show. But about 5 years ago I realized that if i wanted to grow the business to what I know it can become I would have to have help. Finding dedicated employees who are willing to show up and work has proven to be a formidable task! Another challenge is trying manage and drive the direction of the business instead of being chained to it as the "technician."
In your free time, what do you do for fun?
Free Time! What's That? Its very rare I have any free time. But I really enjoy taking my wife dancing on Saturday nights which we do fairly regularly. I also enjoy trying to grill when I can. I enjoy pretty much anything outdoors. Life, I'd have to say, is what I do for fun I guess. Somethings I face I don't like and I'm not yet where I see myself being, but nonetheless, life is my fun.