Janto Sarker: Small Business Owner with a Big Heart for Cedar Hill

    man standing by sign
    Janto Sarker is a proud local business owner and happy to serve the Cedar Hill Community whenever he can. The Food Pantry distributes food every month to approximately 350 families. This number has increased more than 200% in the last 5 years. PHOTO by Pritul Sarker

    Texaco Cedar Hill Celebrates 20th Anniversary in 2022

    You might not recognize the name of Janto Sarker, but if you live in Cedar Hill there’s a good chance you’d recognize him when you see him. He’s the proud owner of Texaco Cedar Hill.

    His station is coming up on a big anniversary, and Janto says, “We will be celebrating our 20th year anniversary in 2022. The Cedar Hill Community has given us so much. The community deserves to hear not only how we have positively contributed to the local economy but be made aware of how they can support our efforts to continue to invest in our community.”

    Born and raised in Bangladesh, Janto attended school there and played both soccer and badminton growing up. He attended LaGuardia Community College and found himself living in New York and working as a Taxi Driver upon graduation.

    But then came a suggestion from a friend, and it changed his life.

    “A long-time friend of mine convinced me to move from New York to Texas and become involved in the gas station business in Cedar Hill,” Janto says, “I also thought that this was better opportunity than anything in New York.”

    Two decades later, he knows he made the right decision.

    He says his favorite thing about his business is his customers. “I enjoy seeing my customers and providing for them. I also enjoy being in the Cedar Hill community and love the all the customers that I see every day. I believe in quality and consistency, which has allowed me to be successful with the business for years.”

    Family and Community

    family wearing suits
    The Sarker Family at a wedding in New York Pritul Sarker, currently attending medical school; mother Shimul Sarker; younger son 8th grader Krish Sarker and Janto Sarko, proud owner of Cedar Hill Texaco. Photo by Duke Khan

    He met his wife, Shimul Sarker, in Bangladesh through an arranged marriage process. That has worked out well, too.

    For fun, Janto participates in a lot of volunteer community service. He’s the president of the Rhythm Cultural Association of DFW, located in Grand Prairie, which is a cultural and nonprofit organization that encourages Hindus of the DFW area to further their culture.

    The group promises “to bring new rhythm in the cultural life of the Bengali community in North Texas,” and organizes many socio-cultures events year-round. Durga puja and Kali Puja/Deepavali are the biggest festivals the group organizes, which “brings thousands of community members together to share their joy and happiness,” according to their website.

    Closer to home, Janto also donates to the Cedar Hill Food Pantry throughout the year, especially during the holiday season.

    Celebrity Customers

    And he’s been a sponsor of the “Assist the Officer Foundation” Golf Tournament, benefitting local police who need financial assistance typically after a work-related injury.

    And for exercise, he plays still plays badminton – three times a week.

    While running a gas station may not sound exciting, every now and then it can be. “I met Emmitt Smith at my store,” he says, “But unfortunately I was not able to get a picture! I would love to meet Luka Doncic.”

    He says, “The day that Emmitt Smith came, I was moving and unloading supplies from my car. He was in line to pay, and I never even noticed. Finally, I went behind the counter and realized it was him. But by the time I did, he was already leaving the store and entering his car. One of my biggest regrets is not asking for a photo!”

    The Gas Station Business

    It’s typical of his hard work ethic that he missed out on this opportunity. Another area he dabbles in is the Real Estate business. “It’s a hobby,” he says – for now.
    There are currently about 115,000 gas stations in the U.S. That figure has dropped sharply over the last two decades for two primary reasons: a lack of profit in the margins owners get, and more fuel-efficient cars.

    As of December of 2021, there are 1,342 Texaco Gas Stations in America. Individuals actually own most gas stations. Only about 3% of gas stations in America are owned by the large oil companies.

    Janto knows it can be a tough business. His job hasn’t always run smoothly. “Around 2005, the business was not doing very well, and for two years, my wife and I had to juggle working there, together, with no employees, while raising our first child. I was ready to sell the store and our house and move back to New York, but with arduous work and determination, the business grew and has now been around for 20 years!”

    Janto is certainly glad he stuck it out, and the people of Cedar Hill are happily benefitting from his determination and hard work too.