BLOOMINGTON - Love is in the air in the Twin Cities.
With Valentine's Day one day away, florists, chocolate shops and pizza shops are preparing for a rush of activity.
“It’s pretty crazy. We’ll do close to 500 deliveries,” said Casey Lartz, owner of Casey’s Garden Shop & Florist, 1505 N. Main St. “I think there’s a double bonus with the Valentine's Day tradition and with the horrible weather. I can’t think of anything better to brighten a person’s mood more than flowers. This is a great time to give somebody flowers to chase away the gloom.”
Lartz said about 25 percent of the store's total sales will be from last-minute orders.
At Grimsley’s Flowers, 102 Jones Court in Clinton, owner John Baker expects drivers will make 300 deliveries Thursday and Friday. On a standard day, they may make about 20 deliveries.
“Generally, Valentine's Day is one of our busiest days,” Baker said. “Valentine's Day isn’t always as busy as Mother’s Day, but those are the two absolute busiest days.”
Valentines Day at Beck’s Family Florist, 312 N. Main St., is the busiest day for deliveries, too, said owner Gaye Beck.
She estimated the store will make 200 deliveries Friday.
“We do a month’s worth of business in one day,” Beck said.
Food-based businesses also expect a rush.
“We’ve been going like crazy to get everything made. For us, it’s a lot of prep work because we make the products. It’s a lot of work,” said John Shank, owner of The Chocolatier Inc., which recently relocated to 3 Finance Drive in Bloomington. The Chocolatier offers creams, truffles, barks and brittles, toffee, caramels and other candy.
It’s not just men buying gifts for women, he noted. “We get both men and women, and moms and dads buying stuff for their children,” Shank said.
Papa Murphy’s pizza shop offers the seasonal Heartbaker pizza available through Friday. The pepperoni pizza, in the shape of a heart, is $7 and can be picked up and baked at home. Papa Murphy's has locations at 1531 E. College Ave., Normal, and 2402 E. Oakland Ave., Bloomington.
“Valentine's Day is one of our busiest days of the year. People don’t necessarily think of pizza for Valentine's Day, but when you have families, I think people are trying to find something to do with their children that’s family-based,” said April Dowell, director of marketing and human resources for Papa Murphy’s locations in Bloomington, Normal, Springfield and Peoria.