Press

MISHAWAKA, Ind.— The pandemic may of shut a new business down, but they are not giving up and are still trying to give back.

The Waypoint VRcade near the intersection of Grape and Edison in Mishawaka had their grand opening on February 28th.

However, just two weeks later, they were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s hard to open a business normally, but it’s even harder when you are shut down just two weeks after opening,” said Todd Van Leeuwen, owner of Waypoint Arcade.

The shut down closed their newly open doors, but that did not mean Waypoint was finished.

“Seriously where there is a will there is a waypoint,” said Van Leeuwen.

This has become the new motto and brand name for the arcade’s newest venture: hand sanitizer and home products.

“Well it’s one of the few things we can do to help supply the community with something they can’t get right now, that actually helps keep people healthy,” said Van Leeuwen.

The hand sanitizer was already a thought in the owners minds because they wanted to have their own cleansers to clean their gaming equipment.

Taking the leap into hand sanitizer was not too far off, but it certainly took a lot of effort.

“Were a brand new business that got shut down within the first two weeks of opening and we are again trying to make the best product we can. And make it affordable and also try and give back to the community. So for every bottle that we sell, we’ll be donating one to first responders,” said Van Leeuwen.

Van Leeuwen has become a part time scientist while at home in quarantine creating and perfecting the perfect hand sanitizer and soap products that hold quality as number one.

The formula currently being sold is hospital grade, with a 70% alcohol content, and is PH balanced to help keep your hands as clean and non-cracked as possible.

“We wanted it to be Hospital grade because we’re going to be donating it to hospitals, and medical offices and police departments and fire departments.”

Every bottle, of the 1500 currently available this weekend, bought equals one bottle being donated back to support keeping our local front line workers healthy.

“Everything I put into the sanitizer was with the first responders in mind,” said Van Leeuwen.

They are also trying to be environmentally conscious by using glass bottle for packaging.

Van Leeuwen does make the distinction that the hand sanitizers being donated will be in plastic bottles so first responders can keep them in their pockets or wherever else is easily accessible.

This venture is not only to help those working on the front lines.

“I’m trying to keep our employees employed, I’m trying to give the community something that can keep them safe, hopefully help generate some revenue for the business and keep us going so we can open again when this is all over,” said Van Leeuwen.

While the doors may be currently closed, Waypoint is not giving up on making the Michiana community their number 1 priority.

“While we could essentially open to a degree right now, we feel like it’s more important to stay focused on the health and well being of the community,” said Van Leeuwen.

Now the goal is to get Michiana back on track by staying healthy so small, locally owned businesses like the Waypoint VRcade, can come back stronger than ever.

“We don’t give up. We will fight until our very last breath that we got to continue to give the people what they want and the best version of that that they could have. It means a lot to me and this is one of our best chances of continuing to stay afloat through the coronavirus situation,” said Van Leeuwen.

If you are interested in purchasing the hand sanitizer or other soap products you can do so this weekend curbside at the Waypoint VRcade near the intersection of Grape and Edison Road in Mishawaka starting:

  • Friday from 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

The hand sanitizer bottles are $10 a piece or you can mix match hand sanitizers and soaps 3 for $25.


Originally posted on ABC57 by Summer Horan: Link »