Two weeks ago, Berkeleyside broke the story about the likely closure of Inca Service, Hugo Cornejo’s long-standing auto repair shop at the Chevron station on Ashby. Reader comments poured in. There are now 42 comments on that original post and five on the follow-up. The comments have been overwhelmingly positive, with many arguing that Chevron must retain a valuable community resource instead of building an unwanted mini-mart.

It looks like the community’s voice matters. Cornejo writes:

Good news for Inca Service! I had a meeting with my Chevron representative last Wednesday and presented her with my final proposal as we were preparing for the exit door. Also I showed my representative the Berkeleyside article and the response from some of our customers.

We were supposed to close our doors as of April 30, 2010. Our closure will not be taking place in as much as we were able to negotiate a mutual agreement between us and Chevron Products Company. I feel that this agreement will be beneficial, as it has been in the past, for both our companies. It will be a benefit to our customers in the automotive repair department on my side and fuel sales on Chevron’s side.

I am going to be trying my hardest, as we have always done, for all our long time loyal customers and new customers. We welcome new customers to try us for a first, second or third opinion with their automotive needs.

We have had an amazing response from our customers in supporting and backing us up in this time of need.

I very much appreciate all your help! I can attribute Berkeleyside as being the main motivator for pushing our last effort to remain in business as we have done for the last 27 years.

According to Cornejo, Inca Service has been granted another one-year lease, which has been the terms under which he has operated under for the last 10 years. He comments: “I am comfortable with that. As long as we stay busy, we will be here.”

Photo: Tracey Taylor.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...