It’s not every day you hear about a thriving, family-owned business opening a new and modern location in the Region. Vyto’s Pharmacy did just that today at a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Kennedy Avenue in Highland.
The event, celebrating the opening of a brand-new and modern building to replace their old location in downtown Highland, was attended by employees and many important members of the community.
Vyto’s, a family-owned and run business spanning four locations in the Region, was founded in 1986 on the belief that quality healthcare should not just be accessible to everyone, but that it should be a community effort as well. “We were very frugal [at the beginning],” said Becky Damasius, wife of the late founder Vyto Damasius, who owns and runs the business with her two sons, Nathan and VJ. “We did all our own cleaning and really watched our pennies, and we made it.”
Vyto, who passed away in 2011, held a strong belief that treating customers like friends and family was paramount to providing a good foundation of customer service. In an age where many seniors couldn’t easily leave their homes to pick up their medicine, Vyto’s delivered their medication to them, and to this day attempts to get to know each patient individually by name, creating a friendly and comfortable atmosphere for their customers.
This building, a brick and mortar construction on main thoroughfare Kennedy Ave. and right off of Ridge Road provides modern offices for Vytos’ employees, a large modern storefront and drive-through for their pharmacy and compounding lab, and even an area for residential tenants. It replaces a much smaller and very old rented space in downtown Highland, which the company outgrew after being their for 10 years. “The boys said, ‘We’re going to pool all of our money together and build a building,’” Damasius said.
Rich Shields, the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Chester Inc, the contractor that both designed and built the new building, was there to celebrate with Vyto’s and the rest of the community, proud of the work his company is doing for Northwest Indiana businesses. “It was a pleasure [to work with Vyto’s],” said Shields. “Now it’s all come to fruition. It’s beautiful for Highland and the community, as well as Lake County.”
First Financial Bank helped finance the construction of the building and Eric Evans, Vice President of Commercial Banking at First Financial, was there as well, mingling with the community after the ribbon cutting. “I think it’s turned out phenomenal,” said Evans about the new building. “It’s a huge improvement over what was here before.”
The building, on the former site of an old and vacant nightclub, will give a new positive life to the neighborhood as it brings good medicine and home healthcare to the citizens of Highland. Evans, passionate about helping his community, was vocal about how great it was to help a family business like Vyto’s: “To see them expand and keep the family name going, and sort of re-energize… This Highland corridor is huge,” he said. “I think it’s going to be the cornerstone for a lot of developments along this way.”
Nathan Damasius, the CEO and co-owner of Vyto’s, cut the ribbon today and was happy to open up a new building that is uniquely Vyto’s and uniquely local. “We decided to stay in Highland because we’re originally from Highland,” Nathan said. “We wanted to make more of an impact in Northwest Indiana, but we also wanted to have a more ‘home-y’ effect.”
Nathan hopes that this new location will be the destination in Northwest Indiana for home medical equipment, compounding, and pharmacy care, where they provide “fast, friendly service the old-fashioned way.”