Coronation Street stars help to open new Wigan sweetshop

A new Wigan sweetshop opened its doors for the first time with the help of some Coronation Street stars.
Alan Halsall helped to cut the ribbon of the new shopAlan Halsall helped to cut the ribbon of the new shop
Alan Halsall helped to cut the ribbon of the new shop

Grandad Jims, which is based on Standishgate, welcomed Alan Halsall, who currently plays Tyrone Dobbs, and Tisha Merry, who played Steph Britton, to cut the ribbon.

Owner, Andy Dickinson, is pleased to open his latest premises, and says it will embrace the town’s sweet heritage.

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He said: “This is probably the most exciting one as it is the biggest. We’ve got more stock than we have ever had before. We’ve been for a tour round the Uncle Joe's factory. We are getting their whole range because they make all their ingredients themselves in Wigan.

Grandad Jims has opened in Wigan town centreGrandad Jims has opened in Wigan town centre
Grandad Jims has opened in Wigan town centre

“I would always go local before turning to bulk buying from abroad or other parts of the country. I keep it close to home.”

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Grandad Jims also has branches in Leyland, before expanding to Chorley and Horwich.

Tisha Merry has always been a loyal customer of the sweetshop since it first opened.

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Mr Dickinson said: “Tisha (Merry) was a regular customer in the first shop. Even when she became famous she still came in, and was our special guest for the Chorley opening.

The shop is named in honour of Mr Dickinson’s grandad, with the owner keen for people to get a family feel when visiting.

“I wanted to name it after a family member. Despite not starting the business, he did like his humbugs. He used to take me up the street where the shop is based in Leyland because it was always full of local businesses which he took me into.”

“My wife makes all the special gifts we do, such as the hamper baskets and gift boxes. A lot of people say why don’t we franchise, but we would lose that personal touch.”

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The shop also has some noticeable features inside it, including a model railway.

“The idea comes from when I had a meal in the Railway near Euxton and they had a steam train going round the pub. The man who did it is local so I asked if he would put one in my shop.”

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