Devin McDonald and Jenny Stevenson

When Berkeleyside first wrote about Mr Mopps’ toy store in April, we could not have anticipated the reaction. That story, breaking the news that the long-established neighborhood toy store in North Berkeley was closing, had 905 Facebook Likes, 21 tweets and 30 comments. More importantly, as it turned out, it also set a number of people to wondering how they could save the store.

As we reported earlier this month, Devin McDonald and Jenny Stevenson read our article and decided they would buy they store. The rescue story has generated 679 Facebook Likes and comments from a wide range of people, including a pair of McDonald’s second grade teachers. Yesterday, McDonald added his comment to thank everyone for their support:

Right now, Jenny, myself, and the staff at Mr. Mopps’ are gearing up for the holidays and Jenny and I are receiving a crash course in toy shop ownership. With guidance and blessings from the Yamashita family, we are becoming comfortable with our roles at the helm of Mr. Mopps’ and plan on making a good thing even better. We look forward to returning the store to its former splendor with a few minor improvements to come. This is incredible, and we have a really good feeling about all of it. Personally, I still have moments where I actually perceive what is happening! We actually, in real life, operate Mr. Mopps’! For real! In real life!! It’s amazing! I’m getting hugs from strangers at the store gushing about Mopps’ being saved, and I can’t even tell who is more excited — me or them.

We’ve started a page for anyone who partakes in any facebookery… (a proper website is to come sometime in the next year or so.)

I really can’t thank Frances Dinkelspiel and Berkeleyside for the wonderful article, and the community for being so welcoming in our new ownership of what is really a Berkeley institution, enough. Here’s to many, many more years of carrying on a Berkeley tradition rich in history that started in 1962.

And Deanne and Jane — how could I forget? Your class was a ball. I love you guys.

If anyone has any suggestions, comments, complaints, etc., etc., please feel free to email us at … We love that kind of stuff.

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...