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And the Winner of the Essential Guide 2016 Shop Local Award is……..

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  • Shop Local Award Winnner 2016

And the Winner of the Essential Guide 2016 Shop Local Award is……..


One of the best aspects of my job is meeting and helping new customers, finding out about what they do and how they run their businesses…

 Towards the end of last year the Essential Guide held the Shop Local Award 2016 – an opportunity for our readers and online visitors to have their say, by voting for their favourite local businesses across the region.

Nominations flooded in, for businesses as far apart as south Warrington and Leigh, and from every region in between, in which the Essential Guide magazines are published.


The winner was Andy Wharton, of Digi-Me-Bobs, located upstairs in the CPS Centre, in the heart of Culcheth.

Warrington-born Andy lives locally, in Orford, with his wife and children. “I’ve always loved fixing things, since being a teenager,” says Andy.

He started a career as a graphic designer in Liverpool, but bought and mended IT equipment for his family and friends as a hobby. “My boss wasn’t supportive, so I packed the job in and started out in business on my own, doing what I love.”

Eighteen months ago Andy moved into his current unit in the CPS Centre, above Sainsbury’s in Culcheth, and he’s not looked back since. “The business has gone from strength to strength,” says Andy. He took staff on to cope with increasing demand for our services, and has become a well-respected member of the local community in Culcheth.

During the nomination period for the Essential Guide Shop Local Award at the end of 2016, votes for Andy and his business poured in.

A selection of comments from customers near and far include:

“Outstanding service and customer care.”

“Brilliant customer service.”

“Friendly reliable service.”

“I went for help with my Ipad and Iphone whilst visiting family in UK. Andy was very helpful and informative. Both devices were fixed quickly and the price was affordable. It’s a family run business which makes it even better.”

“Helpful, friendly staff are always prepared to go the extra mile for all its customers.”


“The community in Culcheth is very supportive”, comments Andy. “Much of my business comes from repeat customers in the local area. They recommend me to their friends and relatives, so I’ve built up a loyal customer base.”


The staff at Digi-Me-Bobs turn their hand to almost anything; in addition to mending phones, and other IT equipment, Andy is happy to take on most projects. While I was talking to him in the shop, a customer brought a set of Christmas lights to be repaired (the family pet had chewed through the wire), and he’s currently re-building an arcade game, which will be for sale on completion. He builds gaming PCs, refurbished laptops, builds PCs to order, unlocks phones, recycles IT, and transfers videos to DVD.

Andy provides a home or office collection service, and offers tuition in the shop using the customer’s own device. “It’s far easier to learn on your own machine, than someone else’s says Andy. I can teach people what they want to know on their own laptop, iPad etc, so they can go home with confidence, knowing that they’ll be able to use it.”

Andy is keen to expand his business and is currently developing his website to provide a wider, more informative service. He’s a worthy winner of the 2016 Essential Guide Shop Local Award, and the team at Essential Guide wishes him every success in the future!


Other local businesses worthy of a mention:

Clapham’s Bakery in Leigh“They overcame a fire and stayed open as they re-did the shop. Great service and a fantastic example of community spirit.”

Lisa’s NomNom Pantry, Birchwood: “Amazing value and quality.”

Sincerely Yours card Shop, Culcheth: “Such friendly staff who can’t do enough for you & beautiful cards & unusual gifts.”

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