The year was 1973.
The last American soldiers had just returned home from Vietnam. The Dark Side of the Moon was the hottest new release. And Austin, Texas was a small city of 250,000, mostly known for its universities and Willie Nelson. A-TEX was founded in that same year by Joe Hajjar, affectionately known as “Uncle Joe” by current owner and Joe’s cousin, Chris Secard. Joe’s father started in the swimming pool business in the 1950s in southern California, where Joe and Chris would learn the ropes.
The first A-TEX store was located on Burnet Road, not far from our current North Austin location. Uncle Joe’s original A-TEX store focused on above ground pools, billiards and other home recreation goods–hence our longtime brand name, “A-TEX Family Fun Center”.
Chris began working in the pool industry as a teenager in California in the early 1980s. By 1989, he was managing his own store. In 1992, after running into Uncle Joe at an industry event, Chris and his wife packed up and moved to Texas to help grow the A-TEX brand in the now up-and-coming city of Austin.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Chris purchased the business from Joe in 1999 and has been its owner and president ever since. The brand shifted its focus to hot tubs, swim spas and above ground pools, as local families began to redefine their ideas of family fun investments.
Our south Austin store and showroom opened in the early 90s, followed by the relocation of our flagship Burnet Road store to its current spot just south of Hwy 183. The new millennium brought a third store to Round Rock (now located in Georgetown just off I-35), and in 2021, A-TEX opened its largest showroom yet in Northwest Austin, with two floors full of spas and swim spas on display.
We mean it when we say we’re a family business.
Chris’s three children have all worked for A-TEX in various capacities. His brother-in-law Wulf heads up our partnered service department. Uncle Joe still pays us a visit every now and then. And the majority of our employees have been with A-TEX for over a decade or more. Though central Texas has changed drastically since we opened our doors, we’re proud to still be family-owned, family-operated, family-centered and dedicated to bringing family fun directly to your homes.