Local business

Closure looms for Inca Service on Ashby

In November, we lamented the loss of Claremont 76. Now it looks like another much-loved and patronized auto repair shop, Inca Service, will vanish.

Hugo Cornejo has been repairing cars at the Chevron station on the corner of Telegraph and Ashby since 1983. Plenty of his customers have been going to Hugo for almost 30 years. But it looks as though Inca Service will close at the end of this month. Chevron, which bought the service station from Cornejo six years ago, plans to expand the mini-mart to a “maxi-mart”, which will mean the elimination of the repair shop.

Cornejo says that since the sale of the station, his repair service has been on successive one-year contracts. Rents have gone up steadily and now are 20% of gross sales.

When word spread recently about potential closure, loyal clients flocked to Inca. According to Cornejo, March was the best month in the last year. But the recession has hurt his business as with so many others. He used to get considerable business, for example, from the university. With recent cutbacks, however, many university departments have reduced or eliminated their vehicle fleets.

“We’ve built up an amazing client group with a lot of support from the community,” Cornejo says. “I’ve tried to negotiate something with Chevron but there’s a total disconnect. They could care less about what’s going to happen next month or next year.”

Cornejo said that he has had discussions with some realtors about alternative locations. He is concerned, however, that a new location would mean building another business from scratch.

Update [6.19.10]: For readers coming to this post in isolation, we urge you to read two later stories which detail how Inca Service was able to remain open, largely thanks to community response to this Berkeleyside story. Read all about it at Inca Service: Not the end of the road, and Inca Service: The Berkeley community wins.

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  • Alicias

    This is disturbing. I’ve only used Inca once and found the service to be good. However, I’m concerned about the idea of a “maxi-mart” in that location. I live a couple blocks away and we already have a problem with passer’s through the neighborhood littering, and this is sure to be one side effect of an expanded junk food store in this location. Not to mention, where is the demand for such a store within Berkeley? It would serve primarily people coming through Berkeley, not Berkeley residents. I’m following up this message with an email to Kriss Worthington–hopefully there is at minimum a use permit hearing that will take place.

  • Linda

    My famiy has used Hugo’s repair service for almost as long as he has been there. There is no one more honest and helpful and reliable. Who needs another store that sells chips, soda and candy? The neighborhood has lost a couple of local auto repair operations in the past ten years. We need to do whatever necessary to try to get Chevron to change their minds. Publicity helps, as would letters to Chevron. I will try to get a name, address and publicize it.

  • Josephina

    Yes, when I found out Hugo was closing Inca Service I was really sad, My comments may seen bias, because Hugo is my brother in law, but he also has been the only person that I would trust with my car or my kids cars for the last 20 years. I had refer many friends and all had been satisfied with his work. Going to Inca’s I know is not cheap, but I also know that the service is excellent. I can trust Hugo and his crew totally, he is very sincere, honest and knows his business, he cares about the environment and also about the community unlike CHEVRON he cares about his customers, many of whom had became also lifelong friends. I wish the best for him and much success in whatever he decides to do.

  • Rebecca

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. I had a major issue with Inca years ago and was treated extremely rudely by Cornejo who also sent bitchy letters to my house. I’m glad to hear he is being forced out of business. KARMA. Good riddance. HAHA!

  • Diep Tran

    I had Hugo Cornejo replace my used brakes several years ago. I knew him through his sister-in-law Josefina who is my coworker. I have not had any problem with my brakes ever since. I like Inca Service and the station blends in nicely with the neighborhood that it is in. Having a “maxi-store” there will not be necessary since there is already a humongous Whole Foods supermarket across the street from it. I hope that Mr Cornejo will be able to find another desirable location to move his business to if Chevron is adamant about their plan to eliminate his repair shop.

  • Monica

    I first used Inca Service for repairing my work’s vehicle, and through the years saw how reliable and wonderful they were, so now I also take my personal car to them and recommend them to all my friends. I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do without them. I really trust Hugo and his workers, they have always given me excellent service and they cater to the customer’s needs, which is rare. I don’t understand why Chevron would get rid of a good business that supports not only the Berkeley campus, but the wider Berkeley community. They should cut them a break in these hard economic times! It’s very frustrating to think that another business will be shuttering its windows – and even worse if it’s replaced with some lame “maxi-store” with no personality.

  • Karen

    I’ve been Hugo’s customer since 1985, when I moved to CA and bought my first car, having been referred to him by the seller. He has always been straightforward and clear in communicating what’s needed. When I couldn’t afford all he recommended, he prioritized with an eye to my safety and let me know when I should return for what. Ever grateful that I could trust him, I’ve skipped anxiety about my own ignorance and directed friends and colleagues to him with confidence. I would hate having to find another mechanic! I even served on a jury in a civil case about fraudulent car repair, partly because I was among the very few summoned who hadn’t been ripped off or deceived in the car world. Last, Inca Service has helped anchor the Telegraph/Ashby neighborhood. For Chevron not to work with a win/win/win for Hugo, his customers, and the community would be a loss for all of us.

  • ralph silber

    I have used Inca Service since they opened, and even before that when Hugo was servicing cars at another location. I have only positive things to say about Inca’s services. I have found them to be honest, responsive, and always available to help me maintain and repair my many cars over the last 30 years. It would be an incredible loss if Inca Chevron is not able to continue serving the Berkeley/Oakland community. The last thing we need is another place in the community to see unhealthy food. What we do need is honest business estalishments like Inca Service that provide services that we all need.

  • Don Allen

    I worked for the company who has done Hugo’s accounting for over 30 years. We became
    good friends along with my wife Dorothy through his career. I watched his business grow
    through good service and his knowledge of vehicles. Yes, Hugo is honest and values his
    faithful customers. I am in support of him 100%, and would like his good name to continue
    at this location. So, Chevron, be reasonable in your negotiations.

  • Sam Frankel

    My wife and I have been taking our cars to Inca Chevron for almost 20 years. In that time we have been extremely pleased with the work performed. Once or twice there have been minor problems, but as with any human endeavor this is a part of life. What was far more important was the simple fact that Hugo stood behind his workers and took care of the problem instantly, no hesitation. When we have had cars that were nearing the end of their life, he consistently prioritized what was essential and what wouldn’t matter. As working people ourselves, my wife and I have also been extremely impressed with the way Hugo treats his workforce. There has been incredibly low turnover, which in turn helps maintain the high quality of work. We have referred a number of friends there over the years and they have reported to us that they were just as pleased as we have been. WE ALL SAY NO TO A MAXI-MART OR ANYTHING OTHER THAN INCA CHEVRON!!

  • Bernard Peyton

    This is very sad to lose both great service and good friends to our community. I have used this serviced station for over a decade. Inca Service always went the extra mile for its customers. This included driving them home or to their businesses while their car was in their care. Being honest about the options for repair. Even fixing more than I asked for and not charging me for it such as repairing a dent in side door. I feel like I am losing one of the best diagnostic experts in the business. The manager, Hugo Cornejo once told me he didn’t understand why doctors couldn’t diagnose what was wrong with their patients. “All I have to do is listen to your car, and I know what is wrong with it.” I wish the world were that simple.

  • Tony Mesones

    My family has used Inca Service for our family business and personally since Hugo purchased the shop. Inca is truly a community based business that provides excellent customer service. My relationship with Hugo, and many of his long term employees, has developed into more than just a business relationship over the years, and it would be sad to see Inca replaced by a maxi-mart.

  • Linda

    Do you all think this is worth fighting for in the sense of letting Chevron know how we feel? Has anyone spoken to Hugo about contacting Chevron?

  • Jerry

    I have been using the services of Inca Service for over fifteen years. Hugo and Dave are the key men at the station, and they are gentlemen of the highest ethical standard. I can always rely upon them to provide honest and quality repair services, at a reasonable price. They represent a type of business that is needed and welcomed our area. The independent repair service, where you communicate directly with the owners, and receive personal service, is slowly disappearing. It is too bad that Chevron values a mini-mart and impersonal service over the full service that is available presently at the corner of Telegraph and Ashby.

    It is Chevron that needs to re-examine its corporate culture. To eliminate service in favor of a mini-mart is a diminution in the value to the community of the station, and a reduction in the value of the brand name of Chevron. The historical culture of personal service and a personal relationship with your service technician seems to be fading out. This is a tragedy because Hugo and Dave represent the best in car service and business ethics. I would hope that Chevron would reduce the rent for the station owing to the outstanding work of the men who run the car service at that location. After all, the Chevron Company benefits from the reputation of Inca Service. Inca places the Chevron Station at the corner of Telegraph and Ashby on the top level of quality stations in the entire country.

  • Denis Hebert

    Like we really need another mini or maxi mart. They are everywhere and what do they serve? Sugar, preservatives, and empty calories. What we really need, what everyone needs, is a good honest mechanic. Hugo Cornejo is just that and more. I have been going to Inca Service since I was 19 years old and I am approaching my 49th birthday! Whenever our cars have needed work Hugo has always been there, especially in emergency situations. I never had to stress-out because I knew Inca Service always took care of me. My car was always ready by the end of the day. I could go on forever praising Hugo, Inca Service and the friendship we have developed. I would hope that Chevron would rethink their position and give Inca service a long term lease at a fair price. I for one, only used that gas station because of Inca service and would certainly not use it for the convenience of a candy bar. For me,this is a very sad day but I wish Hugo, Dave and all at Inca Service the best

  • Michael Graves

    In these times of sacrificing to make ends meet, of watching every penny, nickel and dime (and yes believe it or not, we are back to counting pennies), when we have to rob Peter to pay Paul, Chevron has decided that a business that assists people in strategically maintaining an essential (if not imperative!) method of travel, their cars, is of less value then a ‘maxi-mart’. A ‘maxi-mart’ which will sell soda and candy, that will rot teeth and add more pounds to the already out of control obeisty problem that we have in this country, all in the name of profit. I’m a customer of Hugo’s and the Inca Service on Ashby asnd Telegraph. They’ve told me about and recommended holding off on, non-essential repairs and allowed me to use my money for something else more important at the time. There estimates were higher than the actually final cost and they finished my repairs ahead of the time estimate. I’ve been ripped off by repair shops in the past and was leary of going to Inca at first but I was sold after my first visit. They perform a community service that is far above and beyond what a ‘maxi-mart’ can or will ever perform and it appears that they have far more integrity than Chevron when it comes to creating value for our neighbors and neighborhood.

  • susan

    Big companies always make changes without regard for those who will be hurt the most. Hugo provides a vital service in a world that has less and less service each day. An atm machine / attendant can not tell you if your car is unsafe and needs work done. We need stations with qualified and reliable PEOPLE. Chevron needs to remember , we are the ones who pay their wages. People like Hugo are an important part of our community !

  • Lucy Beck

    Even though I don’t live in Berkeley, I know that I can count on Hugo Cornego to diagnose and repair my car at a fair price.

    Raising rent on such a valued member of the Berkeley community, and then finally ousting the Inca shop only illustrates what is wrong with the balance of big business and the small businesses which make a community what it is.

    Hlugo is a treasure and a friend. Chevron, you need to value this amazing individual and his invaluable service department at Inca Chevron.

  • Marilyn and Rich Watson

    For months now, even a year perhaps, we have been forewarned and forestalled regards the closure of Inca Chevron. We have taken every small detail we can in for fix up, tune up and repair…..just to make sure the cars are in working order when Hugo has to leave. For 173,000 miles (and that’s just ONE care !) Hugo has tended to our safety, and our comfort, anticipating every detail for us. Incredibly thorough, and generous, he is so trusted and appreciated !! We just can’t imagine, nor have we even tried to see, where else we could go if and when ………. !!

    Also we have recommended Hugo countless times to friends and car buyers, for checking out the quality and condition of a car to buy. He has been reliable, flexible and always a friend. For the community and for innumerable individuals, the loss of Hugo in our midst, and the loss of Inca Chevron will be very sad. What a commentary on our community support systems to see a big business which doesn’t give a damn and expects success in return from the locals at the same time !! Look at the bigger picture, and get a real sense of what would be lost and please, KEEP INCA OPEN !!

  • http://ninashilling.com Nina Shilling

    I’ve been a loyal customer of Hugo’s since the 1970’s when he had a small and wonderful business in his drive way. Even though his business has grown over the years, he never stopped treating me with the friendly, personalized service that he did in those early days. He’s seen me through at least five Volvos and added years to their lives. One of our Volvos is now 23 years old and still running fine. Hugo’s a warm, sincere and heartfelt person and an excellent mechanic. And he’s affordable–which many garages that cater to Volvo owners are not. I hope he can stay open. I would miss him, his work and his reasonable prices.

  • ILAN SAVION

    TO: THE EAST BAY COMMUNITY

    I first met Hugo Cornejo in 1982 before he eventually relocated to his present location at Telegraph & Ashby. At that time, he had a repair garage at the back of his home at Telegraph & 63rd Street. He and his brothers, other relatives and friends provided a much needed honest and trustworthy service to the community in general and to his friends in particular.

    Of course, in no time at all, the community became his “friend” as word spread of his honest and wise approach to repairing cars. Whether newer expensive models or beat up jalopies, he and his employees seemed always to spend the extra time (but not the extra money, believe me) to make sure the vehicle was competently repaired and the driver had a safe vehicle to drive. When I say”not the extra money, believe me”, I refer to the frequent times he put in extra “time” to handle the issues involved but did not add this extra time to the bill. This happened too often to be an “accident”.

    What made Hugo special was probably the Old World attitude he always had that the “customer comes first”. This used to be a more common attitude in previous generations but has, unfortunately, seemed to pass out of favor in each successive decade. The idea was not necessarily to get the client out the fastest possible (though timeliness was obviously important) but to complete the repair successfully and return a “safe” vehicle to each and every customer.

    Hugo and I are about the same age (I am almost 62) and over the years, we developed a relationship based on respect, civility, communication and an exchange of ideas about a world of issues having absolutely nothing to do with cars or their repair. It was not so much that Hugo and Inca Service became part of the community as that Hugo and Inca Service BECAME THE COMMUNITY. I and many other of his clientel will be extremely sad to see him and his valuable service disappear prematurely when it is obvious that he not only has many more years left to ply his trade but that he also still loves his trade.

    I implore Chevron and the powers that be to take into account the long and valuable service Hugo has contributed to enhancing the marketability of the CHEVRON name and that they somehow find a way to reach a negotiated compromise that will allow Hugo and Inca Service to continue to be a valued and much needed part of our lives.

    THANK YOU

  • http://fowlman01 retired UC employe

    Before Hugo there was Lou so the continuation of Chevron as an umbrella for motor repair is a long history. Like my upkeep on department vehicles was very extensive, six or seven field trucks that NEVER broke down away from Berkeley. That is quality of care very rare in the industry.We could trust that what was repaired was really needed and it was correctly maintained. The loss of the SERVICE will hurt all loyal chevron gas users. Less gas sales will result.!

  • Hugo Cornejo

    Hugo here to let you know what is happening with Inca Service and the above written article regarding our operation and it’s future.
    We have been at the present location for the last 27 years and have been servicing the sorrounding communities for the last 35 years.
    In the course of doing that. I meet the most amazing people like yourself. I have made amazing friends whom I will respect and cherrish for the rest of my life.
    Because of the economic downturn, my business just like the entire economy of the United States, took a bad turn that we are all paying for now.
    We have been trying very hard to make as many cut backs on the expenses of our operation and still be able to provide you with the highest quality of service for your automotive needs at a fair price.
    For the last few months I have been working to see if I could accomplish an adjustment on the rent for the present economic times and so far I have not been able to reach an agreement that would be beneficial for everybody.

    Chevron has been a very good company for me to work with. They have been very helpful in accomodating my operation for the benefit of our customers. Just like anybody else I am sure they need to get the best value for the land they own and rent.
    I hope to remain in business for many more years to come in order to service your vehicle needs.

    From the bottom of my heart, myself and all my crew. Thank you very much for all your support past, present and future if not fixing your vehicle. I could be leading you on especially catered trips to Peru or South America :) :) :)

    I very much appreciate your taking the time to read my note.

    Hugo Cornejo
    Inca Service

  • Brian Laniel

    My wife and I are very grateful for Inca Service. They’ve taken amazing care of our old car for the last eight years. Hugo is a humble and honorable man who always does his best to save us from unnecessary expenses. In fact, for years he’s councelled us to stop putting money into this car, but of course we never listen! We’ve sent many friends—often burned by other unethical mechanics in the area—to his shop, and we would ethusiasticly recommend Inca to anyone who needs quality repairs at a fair price. 

  • stuart Sidells

    The possible closing of Inca Service would be a calamity.SHAME ON YOU CHEVRON!

    Since their opening in ’83 my family and many neighbors in the Willard District of Berkeley have taken our motley vehicles to Hugo and Dave for repair, and in some cases, final dispensation. The vehicles reflect the diverseness (or eccentricity) of
    the neighborhood: ancient Mercedes, Fiats, Alfas, George Oren’s Dust Buster, even the strange new Prius. Inca equals ingenuity. Without them we would be towed away by the city for good. Inca is as essential to this community as the Elmwood Library branch. We need them to stay.

    Could Kriss Worthington broker a meeting with Chevron’s “Human Energy” real estate people and Hugo to keep Inca Service where it is? (Are there not famous Berkeley regulations in place to confound the large and arrogant?)

    The idea of an always-open Anonymous Mart peddling beer, wine, and crap calories
    through the night at Ashby and Telegraph fills me with dread. Anyone else?

  • stuart Sidells

    What an excellent website this is.

  • Ron Kelly

    Recently, with the van packed, our whole family was just heading out on vacation. Suddenly there was a terrible noise right as we got on the freeway. Hugo dropped everything he was working on to diagnose our car and get us heading off on vacation again wthin a few hours. I’ve trusted Hugo with my car repairs for many many years. I’ve also been a longtime customer of Chevron. Hugo tells me they make the best gasoline. If Chevron and he cannot work out a way from him to stay, it will be a terrible loss for the neighborhood, and for my feelings about Chevron.

  • Yuko Katsumi

    For our cars we need places that we can trust and get us the best professional car care that Inca service provides. When Chevron can not see the importance of why it is so crucial
    to have a place like Inca service near their gas stations it makes me wonder why they want us to buy good quality gas but not good service for our precious cars that we depend on so much everyday. Inca service is very reliable. Respects are everywhere coming from Hugo
    to the customers and to his workers so therefore a high standard professional work and a very good business. I was never a big fan of Chevron but since i started going to Inca service I have started to think maybe Chevron is not so bad. If Inca service goes I think it is a huge loss for Chevron. I think to have Chevron and Inca service side to side is a wonderful partnership. Both promoting the best value for the cars needs!

  • Joseph Levinson

    I am writing to beg for Hugo and Inca Service to stay in their current location in the Chevron station. There are a couple of issues. First and foremost is that Hugo and everyone at Inca are among the most honest and competent car mechanics I have ever met. I know that they will do all that is possible to find and fix the problem with my car. No matter how long is takes. But they won’t over charge for it! When other mechanics can’t find the problem… I know Hugo’s group can. The other issue is that I heard that Chevron is thinking about putting some kind of mini-mart in instead of Inca Service. Shame on Chevron! To replace Inca Service, a business with integrity and that provides a service to the community, with a mini-mart that sells cheap sodas and chips and ruins the health of the community is a crime! This is exactly the kind of world we need to be getting away from. After having my car worked on at Inca Service I often would fill it with gas at Chevron. If this kicking out of Inca happens not only will Chevron lose my business at that station, but I will not use any Chevron gas station ever again.
    We are talking about trust, community, integrity, and people’s lives. And Chevron wants to throw that away in exchange for a quick buck and bad health. It’s disgusting.

  • Pingback: Inca Service: Not the end of the story – Berkeleyside

  • http://sph.berkeley.edu/faculty/tarter.php Mike Tarter

    There are both personal and professional reasons for my request to Chevron that they do everything that is in their power to help keep Inca Chevron at its present location. The professional reason is related to service on the UC Berkeley committee that oversees our campus’ relationship with businesses whose research interests are shared. For example, one of my best data analysis students has served as an apprentice at Chevron. For this reason, when, over a twenty year period, my wife and I have had our 1983 BMW serviced at Inca Chevron, not just Inca Chevron–but Chevron itself–has been thought of as a good neighbor.

    Last month I attended a faculty dinner at which the professor sitting next to me happened to mention with pride that he too is driving an old BMW. For me, the credit for maintaining a classic car is solely Inca Chevron’s. Also for me, as is undoubtedly the case for many other faculty, campus administrators, staff and students, one or more cars is accorded the status of family member. Hence in much the same way that my grandson’s and granddaughter’s proximity to a good school is important to his parents, Inca Chevron is important to me and to my wife, and my being in a position to provide first tier Chevron apprentices is a way of repaying Inca Service.

  • Liz Burns

    I have been a customer at Inca for over 25 years. Hugo and his employees have saved me a great deal of money by maintaing my cars (over the years). As a result I have kept my present car for 11 years, with 235,000 miles and it is still going strong. Besides maintaining my car, the employees are extremely respectful and trustworthy. Inca Chevron is the reason I come to the gas station. It has become community institution. If you cannot negotiate a fair lease that allows them to stay you are losing the good will of the public.

  • John Ravnik

    I am happy to be able to add some comments about Inca Service and Hugo Cornejo in particular. For almost 30 years my family has been taking our cars to Hugo—first at another location, then at Inca Chevron when he moved there. Over these years, Hugo has taken care of a variety of cars; in recent years – as our children grew we have had three cars in the family and they were all serviced at Hugo’s place.

    The primary reason we have kept returning to Hugo and Inca Chevron for 30 years is expressed in one word – trust. We could always rely on Hugo to provide expert service in a timely and professional manner at a competitive price. We also particularly appreciated his meticulous record keeping of the maintenance, service and repairs performed on our vehicles as well as alerting us to potential future problems that we would want to address in the near future. We found this preventative aspect of his service was very important as it allowed us to budget for future service and avoid costly unplanned breakdowns. Our trust in Hugo’s commitment to the best possible service and his human touch is why we continue to use his services even after moving from Oakland to Pleasanton. We have recommended many friends and colleagues to him over the years and would continue to do so.

    We certainly hope that Chevron will consider the situation and listen to the pleading of so many faithful customers.

  • http://www.fortunathebook.com Mike Stevens

    My car is nine years old, and I need Inca! Again and again they have been there for me with far-above-average expertise. More important than that, I know I can trust them. Inca’s departure would be a terrible loss for the community.

  • Cathy O’Brien

    I am dismayed at even the intimation that Inca Chevron could possibly close. I am a long time patron of their services and I am an extremely satisfied customer for well over 20 years. Hugo Cornejo is honest, respectful and a skilled mechanic who can solve problems like noone I have ever met. Like finding a good physician, having a car mechanic like Hugo is a jewel. I rely on him for all of my car service needs.
    Wake up Chevron and keep Inca Chevron where it is!

  • Beverly

    I count myself as one of the many hundreds of people who have given Hugo Cornejo and Inca Service my total trust to keep my car running great and safely. I was a customer of Hugo’s before he opened his shop on the corner of Ashby and Telegraph when I would take my car to his house where he would work on it in his backyard or garage. This is a long standing relationship and he has seen me through several cars, the current one now over 225,000 and still kicking.
    When I saw the sign in his window a few months ago about an imminent closing, I was pretty surprised but I figured he was retiring after so many years. However, when I found out the real reason was not a happy one but one of a forced closure due to sky high rent in this downturn economy, I was very sad. I honestly don’t know if I would ever trust any other mechanic as much as I do Inca and his loyal employees, many who have been with him for a very long time. They have provided an honest and necessary service to me and to the community so I really hope that Chevron will find a way to renegotiate a more reasonable rent so as not to let this institution dissolve. I am a Chevron customer and will stop supporting this company if Inca Service is forced to close.

  • Tony D

    For me, it had always been hard to find a place where I could service my car and I could trust the work that was done (old parts sold as new, replace this and that when nothing was actually done, etc. . ) Some years ago, I started taking my Honda Accord to Inca Service, Hugo and his crew are not only the best people that have serviced my car, but every time I’m confident that I’m getting more in the labor and service than what I have been charged for.
    Even when my car needed a jump-start, I knew that I could call Inca Service and get helped. As a matter of fact, once they helped me out at my place and we drove my car to Inca Service because Hugo decided not only to properly test the battery but also look for other sources of problems in my car. Surely, at the end he gave me a very good and honest assessment of the problem and repaired it.
    Overall, I value very much the quality of their work and the trust they have inspired in me.
    Now, I find it hard to read the news. It’s hard because we have to accept that yet another local business is hurting and possibly even closing. . . Hugo’s letter posted above is very moving. Personally, I don’t see a need for yet another Maxi-Mart!! We do need to keep Inca Service in Business! We need to rebuild and sustain the trust in our local business! Inca Service certainly has benefited the Chevron Station on Ashby and Telegraph tremendously, it built a great reputation for the place.
    My heart and best wishes to Hugo and his great team!! You are the best!

  • richard berger

    I have been using hugo’s services for 23 years…. it is disturbing and counterproductive for our community to lose trusted and competent individuals merely to be replaced with more soul-less retail. Having Hugo under the sign of Chevron does alot for the brand, I am sure it is a reason alot of individuals purchase Chevron products… if we trust Hugo, we trust Chevron…..
    I am sorry that progress really isn’t

  • J A Rubino

    What else can be said about Hugo and Dave and all the mechanics that work at Inca Cheveron that has not already been said, PROFESSIONAL, SKILLED, EFFICIENT, and HONEST.
    What a loss to the community if they are forced out. In these hard economic times many small business owners who have a proven financial success record deserve a fair market rate to sustain them as our economy regains its balance. Certainly Cheveron, who has posted positive earnings recently, could negotiate a resonable rental profit for one more year and support the community’s need for the quality business that Hugo has created.
    These are the times when large corporations must step up and recognize that short term gain decisions can undermine the long term value of a business.
    It took years of hard work and dedication to build Inca Cheveron, to loose it because of a temporary downturn, severe as it has been, is not a wise investment in future earnings. We will always support Hugo in what ever business venture he chooses to create, because he embodies the best of what independent businesses are.

  • Tom Ratcliff

    I’ve had my construction trucks serviced @ Inca for the last 10 plus years and have been so satisfied with the quality of service and the convenience. Hugo has helped keep my business running smoothly with reliable and timely service. So, I am very sad to lose this irreplaceable business partner.
    My distress is compounded by the new use proposed of the site. With juvenile obesity and Type 2 diabetes at epidemic levels and rising, Chevron’s real estate division seems to be on yesterday’s auto-pilot…. sell more sugar and salt to young people! It is well documented that Willard Middle School students line up out the door at the existing mini mart to buy chips and soda, a well known toxic stew. Chevron has a responsibility to our children, and they should think about adult customer retention too.
    As a neighbor of Inca and a regular customer of this Chevron station, I am really put off by this decision. I’ll likely buy my gas at another location in the future just because this is such a tone-deaf decision that changes the meaning of this business location.
    Note to real-estate dept: think about marketing consequences of removing a business that provides a valued public service and replacing it with a business that makes children sick. At the very least… consider selling real food, for the love of God.

  • Joseph Beck, M.D.

    I first learned to trust Hugo with any car problems, big or small, more than 30 years ago, before Inca Motors at the Telegraph & Ashby Chevron was established. I’ve continued to rely on Hugo’s expertise and honesty whenever I’ve had car problems, and have continued to recommend Hugo to family members and friends. Hugo is obviously a very important resource to a huge number of people in the community who have come to rely on him. It would be a real shame if he and Chevron are not able to come to some agreement that works for everybody.

  • Stuart sidells

    Hey Hugo. It’s Saturday. What happened with Chevron yesterday? Is it game over?
    Stuart

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  • Joseph Ruan

    What ? Closing ? No not good at all. I was the Station Manager and lead Tire tech at Claremont 76 for the final 10 years that we where open and I used Hugo and his crew as my Mechanic’s and I bought used cars from Hugo that where a gogo no problems just Professionalism. Remember there was a 76 on the opposite side of the Chevron and its been sitting as an empty lot for over 10years. That hood is changing for the no-good.

  • http://www.tktaylor.com Tracey Taylor

    Joseph Ruan: Have a look at the update I just posted on this story with the links to our two more recent stories. Your will be pleased to hear that Inca Service is not closing in the foreseeable future largely thanks to Berkeleyside readers who expressed their support for Hugo. This lead to Chevron renewing its contract with him. He’s open for business!