VINELAND — You don’t need to drive 88 mph, or even be behind the wheel of a DeLorean, to travel back to the ’80s and ’90s. Simply walk into the new smoothie and juice bar on Landis Avenue.
Back to the Juicer opened in August, the vision of owner Edgar Calderon, who parlayed his Amazon and eBay businesses and the need for a local juice bar into a thriving storefront.
Calderon, 34, of Vineland, said his drinks are made with fresh fruit cut and prepped right in the store before they’re frozen, taking away the need to add ice to smoothie mixes. They also use reverse osmosis filtered water, and neither sugar nor nut products.
“It just makes a much better product,” he said. “With our drinks, they could melt and they taste the same — just warm.”
Relics from the 1980s and ’90s are featured all over the store, from “The Simpsons” action figures to over-the-shoulder camcorders, bulky cellphones and vintage video-game systems — treasures found through Calderon’s online businesses.
Across from the food counter, where turkey chili and meatball subs are on special, is a video-game bar, with each of the three consoles featuring 600 games including “Street Fighter” to “Pac Man.”
The smoothies, which cost $6 with add-ons like flax seed and protein available for an additional charge, are named on a theme: Slime Time, Ecto Cooler and BEET It!
As the father of two, Calderon also wanted to create a space his kids would enjoy, he explained.
“If you like the stuff that I like, and the stuff that my kids like, you’ll like hanging out here,” he said. “We try to have a very good, positive energy. It’s always an environment with my kids in mind.”
Inessa Burgos, 24, of Vineland, is the manager and sole employee of the operation. She makes the smoothies, greets customers, preps the fresh fruit and handles other daily operations.
She said in the summer, there was a constant crowd, but there has been a steady flow of customers over the winter. Younger kids, who haven’t lived through the decades on theme, are enjoying the shop as well.
“Even kids from Vineland High School come and can do their homework here,” Burgos said. “This is pretty much a hangout spot for them.”
During the evening and weekends when the shop is closed, the building becomes a customizable event and party venue.
“What we’re really excelling in is doing events,” Calderon said. “It’s a different kind of atmosphere.”
A mural covers the back wall with cartoon icons from “Hey Arnold!” “ThunderCats” and “Rugrats,” painted with black-light and glow-in-the-dark paint, he said. It comes alive when the house lights go down and black lights and lasers come up.
It makes the space pre-decorated for an ‘80s or neon party, he said.
For first-time customers, walking back in time can be quite the nostalgia-inducing experience.
“I think it’s pretty cool, seeing all the customers’ faces when they come in,” Burgos said. “Even grown people come in and play for hours. They’re so happy to see games they played when they were a kid.”