Today was the first time that I stopped into Code Blu on Allen Street to try one of their smoothies. At first I was completely overwhelmed by the selection available. I was also
surprised to find that they were offering salads, wraps and paninis, as well as serving breakfast - the menu was quite large. As I pondered what sort of smoothie to order, I overheard a customer say that she had been hearing great things about Code Blu and had decided to stop in. She said that the word was out and the juice bar was creating a buzz. I found that interesting, as I had also been hearing Allentonians talking up the place as well. Now I see why - the place is just like something that you would find in the islands. There's an earthy naturalness about it that has a genuine and endearing quality.
One of the things that I immediately liked about Code Blu was the reggae music playing from a small wall-mounted flatscreen in the corner. Combined with the colorful orange walls, ceiling fans and the fish tank views into the neighborhood, I felt right at home within minutes. The juicer behind the counter asked me if I had decided on anything and I told her that I was at a loss. That's when she pointed out the owner's favorite - Incredible Hulk. The Hulk consisted of red apple, kiwi, pear, lime, cucumber, spinach and celery. After one sip I could swear (but I won't because I'm a good Buffalonian) that I could taste every ingredient... it was absolutely delightful. I complimented the owner on her good taste and the genuine vibe that she had created. "I wanted to create a healthy place where people feel comfortable," said DeChantell Lloyd owner of the juice bar. "Before I opened the business I was juicing alot and I would travel to other cities and would come across all sorts of juice bars. One day I was out looking for a place (in Buffalo) to get a cup of fresh fruit and I couldn't find one. That's when I said that I was just going to do it myself. I rented the spot for an entire year and fixed it up while I worked at my other job (she still has two jobs). I just fell in love with the windows and knew that this was the place. During that year I spent all of my spare time researching juice bars."
As I talked with DeChantell there was a steady buzz of customers coming and going, and it appeared as if everyone was a 'return' customer. "I started off with five types of smoothies," she explained. "It turned out that people wanted juices even more than smoothies, so I began to juice. Somebody the other day asked for peppers. I already had them - she was so surprised when I told her that I not only had them, but I hand picked them. I even have collared greens... I have just about everything at this point. You see, you can juice any fruits and vegetables. Everything here is made to order. We grab the fruit and cut it up right in front of you. See the bottom of your smoothie? That's not ice, it's a lime peal! Even the smoothies are super healthy because they are made from yogurt, different milks, whey, fresh fruits a veggies. Next I want to expand to vegan and vegetarian foods. My customers are asking for it. It's making me think of entirely new directions to go. I want to have a breakfast club in the morning with yoga. It will be called Code Blu Breakfast Club - get your yogurt, your juice, do some yoga and head to work. I have to keep the momentum going. We don't have coffee, but you can add one of our teas to your smoothie for an added caffeine boost. Don't forget that fruit has a natural sweetness and you don't need added sugar... I could live on the Caribbean Breeze!"
Code Blu offers free WiFi, a poetry night, has a chess night coming soon, offers metabolic nutrients, ginseng, shots of agave nectar, B12, Vitamin C, fresh pressed wheatgrass, a dedicated owner, reggae music and friendly and quick service... what else could you possibly want?
23 Allen Street