Nadeem Kassis, president and CEO of Kassis Companies, announced last week the sale of the entire ZK Express franchise to Lubbock-based Mighty Wash LLC.
Starting in 1999 with a single ZK Express oil change facility on Bender Boulevard at the age of 22, Kassis and his family branched over the years into multiple enterprises, expanding their holdings and businesses throughout southeastern New Mexico and into west Texas.
“They (Mighty Wash) came and made us an offer we couldn’t refuse,” Kassis said. “We kind of meshed. We operate the same way they do in the same industry and they wanted to branch out into New Mexico. This is their first acquisition, then they’ll start building towards Roswell, Artesia and elsewhere.”
Kassis declined to reveal the value of the sale, but said Mighty Wash took over the entire ZK Express business on Sept. 24.
For some time, Kassis had plans to construct a Tornado Car Wash in Lovington on property purchased for that purpose.
“They’re going to build the one in Lovington,” Kassis said. “They bought our plans and the property.”
According to Kassis, Mighty Wash also bought the ZK Express brand and will continue using it for a while, eventually changing the facilities to the Mighty Wash brand.
“They bought five Tornado Washes
SEE ZK, Page 3 from PAGE 1
— Hobbs 1, Hobbs 2, Odessa, Carlsbad and the one upcoming in Lovington — then they bought the Auto Spa over on Dal Paso and they bought ZK Express Lube, the whole ZK Express franchise,” Kassis told the News-Sun.
Mighty Wash LLC director of marketing and customer relations Joe Landin told the News-Sun the company gladly offered all of about 120 employees the opportunity to stay with their jobs at their current pay, plus Mighty Wash benefits.
“It will take about 60 days for us to put the Mighty Wash look on those car washes,” Landin said. He expects an official company announcement and possible grand opening around that time.
The company website identifies principals and goals of the company that started in Lubbock in 2012.
“Mighty Wash prides itself in being an involved corporate citizen in the communities we serve, and most importantly, being of service to our work family,” the website states. “For Mighty Wash it starts by applying Godly principles in the development of our growth plan and by adhering to a mission statement based on ‘Being the most convenient car wash and being a great place to work.’”
Speaking from the new Kassis Companies corporate headquarters at 3820 N. Grimes St., Kassis assured the News-Sun his family business venture continues strongly, just out of the car wash and lube arena.
“We’ve had 22 years of hard work, but we still have multiple things we’re operating here,” Kassis said, noting the COVID-19 pandemic set the Space Jump project, a trampoline park, back about a year-and-a-half.
Kassis’s wife Cindy told the News-Sun previously, “When we come up with new business ideas, we always want to do something that’s going to benefit the community. That’s one need we saw. There’s not a lot to keep kids entertained, active, out of the house, off the TV and off their phones.”
The Kassis family plans for the Space Jump to be a place for family gatherings.
“We thought this would be a good opportunity to give the kids someplace to have birthday parties. I think it would be great for church group, youth group and family gatherings,” Cindy Kassis said.
“Finally, we’re going to start breaking ground on that jump park pretty soon,” Kassis continued. “We weren’t going to make the mistake of building it then just sitting on it. At this point, we feel like we’re not going to be shut down again. It’s going to take six or seven months to build it.”
In addition, Kassis and his wife Cindy own Property Management Plus, a residential and commercial development company that already has built several plazas and has permits for about 30 homes.
“Within Property Management Plus, we have a lot of expanding. We’re building another plaza in Roswell right now. We have another plaza going up on Grimes, right in front of Del Norte. We’re fixing to break ground there,” Kassis said. “Then, we have a second phase of a plaza that we’ve just finished building in Lovington and we’re fixing to start there.”
In one of the Kassis plazas on North Grimes, his brother Jack co-owns and operates the Firehouse Subs as part of the Kassis Companies’ restaurant branch.
“We are a family-owned company, my wife and I, my brother Jack and his wife,” Kassis said. “We’re still partners in Firehouse Subs, (along with) my parents Aida and Zahi Kassis.” The parents, who financially helped Kassis get started in business 22 years ago, have since retired.
“My wife and I are going to really work hard with our Property Management Plus company. We’re going to start multi-developing everywhere — Roswell, Carlsbad, just everywhere, residential and commercial,” Kassis said. “I’m excited, we’re excited. for this kind of second phase in our life.”
The Kassis Companies corporation also rents billboard space in the county, some of them operated digitally.
Kassis said sale of his first big business venture “kind of rejuvenated me to start creating new businesses again. I got to the point where I was just opening businesses and I was doing it in a cookie-cutter fashion. It was good because I was helping our company grow. Now, I just feel excited like when I was 22 years old and starting new companies.”
ZK Lube has been open almost 23 years, with the Auto Spa on Dal Paso Street, 11 years and the first Tornado Car Wash was constructed about eight years ago.
“We spent a lot of years and hard work getting companies strong the way they are,” Kassis said. “It’s kind of sad to see (the ZK Express facilities) go, but we’re happy to put them in Mighty Wash’s hands. We feel like they are a great company.
“We’re so very thankful for the support of all the people in Hobbs who helped us go from nothing to a major corporation, helping us with our success. Also, we’re thankful for our dedicated employees that were with me. I felt we were a tight knit family business and it was hard for me to leave those that were with me for 10, 15 or 18 years.”