Their mission is both simple and worded succinctly. To paraphrase, their employees, customers, and community are their most valuable assets. They consider it their responsibility to provide a professional atmosphere founded on sound business ethics, honesty, and integrity. That philosophy has been the foundation of their business since 1935. It’s unlikely that you’d associate such sentiment with a Chevy dealership near you but ask anyone ‘in the know,’ and they’ll tell it to you straight…Frank Kent is so much more than ‘just another dealership.’ And their mission? Well, it’s so much more than words.
1935…that was the year Frank Kent first introduced his independently owned and operated motor company, after nearly twenty years of employment in the automotive industry. Located in the heart of Fort Worth, the Frank Kent Motor Company proudly served the city it called home, as well as its surrounding communities, until its visionary leader’s passing in 1987. But with family ties rooted even deeper than those Frank Kent had nurtured within his community, his legacy has been maintained with pride through three additional generations.
Siblings Will and Corrie Churchill are the great-grandchildren of Frank Kent, and both have held leadership roles within the company for the better part of two decades. Driven by their shared belief in their great-grandfather’s principles of “morals, values, and ethics over profit,” the family has worked tirelessly to expand their collective vision in new and exciting ways. Some can be felt in the relaxed and customer-centric environment they’ve created within the several dealerships that bear the Frank Kent moniker. Others are tangible within the warm and welcoming employee culture they believe to be such an important component of their brand. The extent of their community involvement is yet another component of what helps to set the Frank Kent family of companies apart from local competitors.
If you step outside the idea of a family motor company, the Frank Kent name also rests at the heart of several local businesses. ‘Kent & Co Wines’ is one such organization, but what about others like ‘Fort Brewery,’ ‘Grease Monkey Rubs’, and ’Cadillac Wines’? For those unfamiliar with the innovation on display in these ventures, we’d be inclined to suggest taking a closer look.
Kent & Co Wines
Nestled inside of a self-described “cozy nook on West Magnolia Avenue,” Kent & Co wines provide an inviting means of embracing the broader culture of wine education and enthusiasm. Setting aside our appreciation for any attempt at diversification, this passion project of the Churchill siblings embraces their enthusiasm in a refined, responsible, and respectable fashion catering to the full spectrum of wine lovers, from the most unseasoned of novice palates to the most informed and passionate of aficionados. If you’re interested in learning more about Kent & Co Wines, we encourage you to visit their YouTube channel.
Located discreetly within Frank Kent Cadillac, you’ll find Cadillac Wines, another extension of the love of wine shared by siblings Corrie Watson and Will Churchill. Presented as a means of heightening the customer experience, Cadillac Wines provides a unique approach to customer service, where the dealership’s valued customers can come to relax, be it with a refreshing drink (responsibly limited to a single 5oz pour) or to shop for a bottle that best suits their palate. Interested in learning more? Check out their website here.
Grease Monkey Rubs
Affectionately referred to as “the rubs that rule them all” the lineup of Grease Monkey Rubs embraces a most sincere love of culinary seasonings. Whether your palate favors Beef or Chicken, Texan-style BBQ or Tex-Mex, there are options for you that will overwhelm your palate with delight far more than any of the bland commercial brands you’d find on a supermarket shelf. Those seasonings are likely to have been bottled up to six months before you take it home, lacking freshness and degrading its taste experience, but Grease Monkey Rubs are bottled ‘just in time’ for release. An unlikely avenue for expansion by a motor group? You bet. But a fun one in line with the diverse aspiration of the Churchill siblings. You can learn more by clicking here.
Texas is a big place, and craft brewing ranks as one of the most saturated and competitive industries out there. Now that we’ve established that let’s talk about Fort Brewery, included by voters among the Top 5 brewpubs in the Lone Star state. Another must-visit spot on West Magnolia Avenue, Fort Brewery represents another means by which the Frank Kent family celebrates their family legacy, through a sense of community and a shared love of food and drink. Hand-crafted pizza and a refreshing selection of diverse beer styles brewed onsite are offered up with a smile. And for those debating between a visit to the brewery, or a visit to Kent & Co — well, both options are available to you at Fort Brewery. There is, quite literally, something for everyone, and the revolving menu of masterfully brewed and branded beers will make sure there’s always something NEW for you, as well. Take a look around at their website and consider them when you happen to be in the area.
The Frank Kent Community
In our opinion, that’s a pretty impressive breakdown of innovative shows of entrepreneurship. While most of our content tends to be based around the automotive marketplace and dealership culture, the Frank Kent family are a great example of what happens when you keep an open mind when attempting a diversification strategy.
As worded so effectively by Fort Worth website back in 2018, “What do Cadillac, a wine bar, a dozen retail buildings, brewery, meat rub and a $3 million overhaul of Fort Worth’s Trinity Park playground have in common?
The answer, of course, was Will Churchill and Corrie Watson, and the subject was the last credential mentioned above, the playground overhaul, a project in which they served as the title sponsor and lead fundraiser. While we could sit here and praise the duo for their professional successes and automotive prevalence, the characteristic that we found most compelling when we met them was their down-to-earth focus on family and community. Churchill and Watson are the real deal, embracing their multi-generational connection with the Fort Worth community.
Their great-great-grandfather? Carroll Peak, the first doctor to call Fort Worth home back in 1853, whose children are counted among the first to be born in the burgeoning community. It was his granddaughter who would marry Frank Kent, at a time when automotive sales were still competing against horse and carriages.
The Frank Kent family has come a long way from the Ford, and Lincoln-Mercury dealership opened up on Henderson Street back in 1935. It would expand into Cadillac and other brands, align the Frank Kent name with celebrities and power players and earn the man himself a posthumous induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Detroit.
While Corrie Watson and Will Churchill honor this legacy in everything they do, they remain some of the most humble and grounded individuals we’ve had the good fortune of coming across. It’s a genuine pleasure to see so many of their efforts paying off in spades.