The Santa Barbara business at 216 E. Gutierrez St. changed hands and names this month when its founder, Mike Bishop, formally retired after 15 years in the Mac repair and retail business to focus on his health and family.
Bishop sold the Apple shop bearing his nickname to Shane Williams, who also owns small shops under the MacSuperstore name in San Luis Obispo and Colorado Springs.
The pair has known each other more than a dozen years, and are quick to point out they have always been colleagues, not competitors.
Since Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo are similar in size and small-town charm, both stores are used to serving the same kinds of customers, Williams said.
“There’s a whole lot of potential here in Santa Barbara,” he said. “It really comes down to shopping locally.”
A spinal injury left Bishop partially paralyzed last year, hampering his well-known work ethic and leading him to consider selling the store he founded after repairing Macs for years as an auto-repair mechanic at the shop he still owns a half-block away, Richard’s Accurate Import Service at 401 Santa Barbara St.
Williams said he hopes to build upon the strong foundation of MacMechanic, which specializes in data recovery, takes walk-ins and repairs a product for any reason — including pesky spills.
The merger delivers a database of more than 22,000 customers to MacSuperstore, also a Sonos dealer.
The friends say the transition has been smooth so far because MacSuperstore adheres to the same personal care and service standards to which MacMechanic customers have grown accustomed.
“We offer complete solutions; not just boxes,” Williams said.
“You’ve got such a history,” he said, looking at Bishop. “There’s a lot of great things people have to say about Mike.”
Bishop said he wanted to thank loyal customers for their service through the years, even when Apple products weren’t as cool and trendy as they are today.
“They’re not just customers; they’re individuals,” he said.
Customers might still see the MacMechanic around the shop for a few months, but that’s just until Bishop gets used to retirement.
He said he’s confident the store has been placed in good hands.