Centex story starts with single Inglewood station
BY DAN HEALING, CALGARY HERALD — He’s come a long way from pumping gas in Inglewood to running a chain of dozens of gas stations, but Alnoor Bhura, the serenely self-confident operating partner of Centex Petroleum, makes it all seem unsurprising, almost predetermined.
The bright blue-and-white stations have been spreading across the province and into British Columbia at an alarming pace in recent years, appealing to customers with Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday two-cent-per-litre price discounts and, often, in-store hot food franchises.
This week, the Calgary-based chain opened its 43rd outlet. It plans to have 50 by the end of 2013. Within two years, it expects to grow its annual revenue stream from nearly $150 million to more than $200 million.
Not bad for an outfit that started by re-opening one abandoned Esso gas station and car repair shop in 1986.
The story actually begins about 10 years earlier, as Alnoor tells it, when his father, Amir Bhura, his wife Nurzan and their three sons joined an exodus of Ismaili Muslims from Tanzania, East Africa, to seek a better life in Canada.