Hutchinson Battery takes over Antlers Auto location

       Hutchinson Battery & Electrical Service is in the process of moving from Motor City Drive to the location of Antlers Auto Electric. Hutchinson Battery owners Greg and Cheryl Berce stand in front of a business-name thermometer from the early days 
when Hutchinson had the 240th phone number in Colorado Springs.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Both businesses have a lengthy history and friendly ties with each other.
       Ken Kress started Antlers in 1972. That will end this month, with Hutchinson having bought him out. “I'm retiring,” Kress said simply. “I'm old.”
       Although the Antlers name is going away, Hutchinson will be doing “everything we do here plus everything Antlers did,” explained Greg Berce, who owns and runs Hutchinson with his mother Cheryl and wife Shawna. “We knew Ken was ready to retire, so it worked out well for both of us. I think it will be a better location than Motor City. There'll be more drive-by traffic.” Ken Kress stands in front of the Antlers Auto Electric
business he’s run at 830 W. Costilla St. since 1972 but
which is closing this month.
Westside Pioneer photo
       He also likes the slightly smaller size of the Antlers building. “We're kind of downsizing,” Greg said. “It'll be more manageable. It was lot bigger at one time. I don't want to do that anymore”
       In 1962, Cheryl recalled, Kress and his wife Emily “were the first people I met in Colorado Springs.” Cheryl's then-soon-to-be husband, Bob, was good friends with Ken Kress, and she remembers them riding Shetland ponies as a hobby.
       Bob Berce was the second generation of the Berce family that has had full or partial ownership in Hutchinson. The business started as a partnership in 1923 that included Bob's father, Frank Berce. The family took over sole ownership in the early '90s.
       Greg has been working in the shop since he was a boy. “I was forced to come to work at the early age of 8,” he joked. “My parents were slavedrivers. That was an era when children could be slaves. But they fed me.” As for his own daughter Courtney, she could rebuild alternators when she was age 8, “but she quit on me,” he added. “She decided that socialization was more important.”

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