Love in the air at local businesses
Okotoks: Valentines Day a busy time for local florists, jewellers and bake shops
Wednesday, Feb 14, 2018 11:28 am
Love is a busy affair for local businesses.
“It’s the single busiest day, definitely,” said Jodie Berrington, owner of Okotoks Country Florist.
It takes a couple of weeks for the flower shop to prepare for Valentine’s Day, from ordering in extra flowers to “greening up” vases – putting greenery in them so they’re ready for flower arrangements on the big day.
While she said they tend to sell out of their roses, some clientele have started expanding their repertoire over the last 10 years.
“We like to sell exotics, like Birds of Paradise and orchids, stuff like that,” said Berrington. “We put those on the table and they go right away, too. We still sell out of our roses, but we certainly don’t sell as many of those as we used to 10 years ago.”
Though the types of flowers being sold on Feb. 14 has changed slightly over the years, she said the number hasn’t. The store can do as many as 80 deliveries on Valentine’s Day, as well as in-store purchases, she said.
On Valentine’s Day, Berrington has all hands on deck – including three delivery people to help out, as opposed to the one driver who might work on other days of the year.
“That’s one of the big things that takes up a lot of the time and a lot of effort, is the delivering,” said Berrington.
It’s a similar story at Austen Jewellers, where Elyse Austen said they’re prepared for 11th-hour gift-buyers on the big day. She said not as many people tend to shop at the last minute on Valentine’s Day as at Christmas, but Feb. 14 still accounts for about half the Valentine’s business.
“Some people are super-prepared and at Christmas they bought the earrings to match the necklace for Valentine’s Day – that’s kind of the older guys, like the 65-plus,” said Austen.
A lot of the business comes from engagement rings, she said. Sometimes staff even get to hear stories behind proposal plans, which she said is always fun to be part of.
Her favourite part is working with young men looking for special gifts for their valentines.
“We get a lot of the younger generation, those high school-aged boys, coming in to get something for their girlfriends,” said Austen. “It’s so cute. I absolutely love them.”
It wouldn’t be a complete Valentine’s Day without satisfying the sweet tooth.
At Brown Sugar Bakeshop, the day of love means an abundance of special cupcakes and desserts for couples and families to share.
There are heart-shaped chocolate, vanilla or red velvet cakes wrapped in fondant and decorated; Pints ‘o Luv – cakes in a jar in black forest, gluten free chocolate salted caramel and vegan; sugar cookies in x’s and o’s or hearts, and edible flowers.
“We’re doing a dozen roses, which is mini cupcakes piped with a rose, so instead of flowers they can give a dozen little minis,” said Rebecca Cyr.
Valentine’s Day has traditionally been the busiest day of the year at Brown Sugar, she said. Everyone on staff is in the store for the day ready to wrap up goodies for their customers’ loved ones.
Though some people call in advance or purchase their treats a few days ahead, she said most orders come in on the 14th.
“It’s usually day-of,” said Cyr. “We get a ton of people that day coming in for cupcakes, last-minute guys coming in and getting squares or something and we can wrap it up nice so they have something.”