All You Need is Love...
...But flowers and chocolate never hurt
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 10:00 AM
Local businesses are preparing for a late-week rush from love-struck patrons buying gifts for their valentines.
MAKING SOMEONE HAPPY: Leah Solomon weighs out chocolate turtle truffles at Cocoa Safari Chocolates on Monday afternoon. Area shops are gearing up for Valentine’s Day on Friday. (Staff photo by Steve Dickersonfirstname.lastname@example.org)
Jerri Burns, owner of Fountain Flowers, said the week leading up to Valentine's Day is usually her busiest of the year.
"We normally average, on Valentine's (Day), 200 deliveries," she said.
Burns said flowers - mostly roses - will be delivered to her shop Wednesday, and she'll work through the night Thursday to have her arrangements ready for Friday.
"You can't start this process today," she said. "If you touch something five different times, it's not going to be the same. It's better to just make it when you're supposed to make it."
"There's no way around it."
Burns said she's worked through the night each year when Valentine's Day rolls around.
Flowers aren't the only popular gift for loved ones on Valentine's Day. Deb Fine, owner of Cocoa Safari Chocolates, said Valentine's Day is her second busiest holiday after Christmas.
Fine said she ordered enough chocolate before the Christmas season - around 800 pounds - to last her through Valentine's Day. She expects to have to order more soon.
For Valentine's Day, Fine doesn't make too many different sweets for people. She sells some heart-shaped truffles and some chocolate-covered rice crispy treats that are also heart-shaped.
Most people, she said, just want to get someone's favorite candy and put it in a red heart-shaped candy box.
Fine has already received orders for candy, and she expects more as Friday approaches.
"We get a few of those last-minute guys coming in here to buy candy," she said.
According to 2011 Census Bureau information, Valentine's Day staples make up a sizable piece of the economy.
There are 1,148 manufacturing establishments that produce chocolate and cocoa products, employing 35,538 people.
The shipments for firms producing that chocolate come to an estimated value of $13.5 billion annually.
Florists employ 66,165 people through 15,307 venues across the nation. The value of imports for cut flowers and buds in 2013 through October was $280 million.
The Census Bureau estimates more than 23,000 jewelry stores in the United States. In 2013, these stores sold an estimated $2.8 billion in merchandise, including engagement and wedding rings.
The median age for first marriages in 2013 was 29 for men and 26.6 for women.
Nearly 53 percent of people aged 15 and older reported being married for the 2011 census.