Looking to make a hit on Valentine’s Day

Candy makers and florists are gearing up for the Valentine's Day rush.

Posted on Feb. 11, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Feb. 11, 2013 at 5:41 p.m.

GOSHEN — While the candy and flowers won’t be delivered until later this week, four downtown merchants said they’re working hard to make sure Valentine’s Day is a hit for people.

“We do about 25 percent of our sales in a week this week,” said Danae Bell, who owns The Nut Shoppe in downtown Goshen. She talked Monday, Feb. 11, as she sat behind the counter forming chocolates, her newborn sleeping in a bouncy seat nearby. Bell said this day is a huge one for small candy makers, especially at this family operation.

Her husband, Justin, joked, “We need each other more at Valentine’s.”

Less than two blocks away, Sally Stutsman’s Goshen Floral shop was hopping, with her employees taking orders and starting the arrangements. “It’s the single busiest day because everyone wants to make that statement. They want them delivered at work, so everyone can see.

“We’re trying to stretch it out, asking them, ‘Can we deliver it on the 13th?’” On Thursday, Stutsman said, “We go from one delivery truck to five, and we double-team the deliveries. It’s the craziest for us because everyone wants it on V-day.”

Kare Andersen of the Olympia Candy Kitchen said unlike most weeks, the Olympia will be open on Wednesday — but for candy sales only.

“Right after Christmas, we’re starting to prepare for Valentine’s Day,” Andersen said. Their turtles are always popular, and this year he stocked up on chocolate-covered cherries. “I shouldn’t say that, though, because then I’ll run out again.”

The holiday is one of the “big three” for the candy side of the store/restaurant, along with Christmas and Easter. This one is especially concentrated. “It’s always the last three days or so,” he said.

A couple of blocks away, Dixie Richardson said, “my hands were in water for six hours this morning, cleaning roses. I probably did over 1,000, and have a few cuts and nicks.”

Richardson, owner of the Wooden Wagon Floral Shoppe, said red roses are again the most popular this year, though lavender is creeping up in popularity over the last few years. Still, “It’s mostly red roses. Nothing says love like roses in red.”

And apparently nothing says “Sorry, I missed Valentine’s Day” like chocolates, said The Nut Shoppe’s Justin Bell.

“Friday people will come in, ‘Oh, I forgot.’ They’ll buy more than they would have if they remembered,” he said.

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