LODI, N.J. — Vincent Cardazone used to hate the Lodi candy store he's owned for 38 years.
Cardy's Sugar Bowl on Union Street has been in the Cardazone family since 1922. Vincent's grandfather Tony DeGrosa opened it and passed it to his father in the 1940s.
"I disliked the store when I was a teenager because I was always doing stuff with the store when my friends were always out," Cardazone, 77, told Daily Voice. "It's kind of ironic now that I'm here, which I really like doing it compared to when I was a teen."
He now spends his days surrounded by a wide variety of treats. Many of his customers are first-timers who are surprised to see an old-school store like his.
"People walk in and they think they're in the 'Twilight Zone,'" he said.
Others have been coming for decades.
"It was the best part of my childhood," longtime customer Michael Manfredi said, "being here with Mr. Cardy and we learned a lot. He taught us respect and to be a good person, that's what he taught me."
Cardazone credited loyal patrons like Manfredi for his longevity. It helps remind him of a simpler time.
"Everything changes," he said, as his store used to have phone booths. "Now you have strip malls and franchises. Nobody knows your first name anymore. It's different."
Most of Cardazone's favorite candy bars are old-school like Zagnut and Clark bars.
Jim Cuccio, customer for 30 years, said he came as an 8-year-old for soda and egg creams.
"It's been a local place we all come to and have coffee," Cuccio said, "and have fun, and enjoy [Cardazone's] company."
MORE INFO: Visit Cardy's Sugar Bowl's website.