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Wakarusa Dime Store travels back in time with window shopping events

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WAKARUSA, Ind.— Though it’s been in operation for over a century, the Wakarusa Dime Store was not immune to the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it.

Because of the cancellation of one of the area’s most popular events, the Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival, the old-fashioned candy store was forced to think outside the box if they wanted to keep selling their famous jumbo jelly beans and sweet treats to the Michiana community. 

“We’ve been fulfilling online ordering. We’re also taking email orders and over the phone orders. It's been pretty popular online,” said store manager Kasidee Kelly. 

With the candy store’s owners stuck in Florida because of the pandemic, Kelly and her team have been working hard to fulfill orders, even creating an area on their website to virtually celebrate the Maple Syrup Festival.

“It was a little Maple Syrup Festival goodie section, so if they missed the festival, we tried to bring back the memories,” Kelly said.

Kelly, who has been working in the Wakarusa Dime Store for over two years, said that while both the Wakarusa and Granger locations are closed to in-store shoppers for the time being, she hopes their newest idea transports customers back in time.

“Window shopping is like an old fashioned thing and we are an old fashioned candy store. We want to bring that feeling as much as we can,” Kelly said.

Starting on May 15, and continuing each Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., customers will be able to visit the Wakarusa location and shop for their treats while looking through the shop’s 100 feet of storefront windows. Both cash and credit card will be accepted.

Customers will choose their orders and one at a time, will pay for and pick it up at the front door, all in an effort to social distance and keep people safe.

“I feel like it gives people a chance to get out but not too close to people,” Kelly said.

The Granger location will remain closed until further notice but anyone with an aching sweet tooth can also call in or order online through the Wakarusa location, which is located at 103 E. Waterford Street. 

Everything from 400 varieties of confections to sodas and ice cream will be available through the window shopping events.

“We’ve got jelly beans, obviously. We’ve got chocolates, popcorn and fudge. We actually just started our coffee bar at our Wakarusa location. We have gummies, taffy, old candies, sour candy, kids candy, Pez, stuffed animals, so much," Kelly said. “Something for everyone.”

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