Columbia Shops Prepare for Valentine's Day Rush

6 years 3 months 2 weeks ago February 11, 2011 Feb 11, 2011 Friday, February 11 2011 Friday, February 11, 2011 2:16:00 PM CST in Continuous News
By: Nicole Niziolek
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COLUMBIA - With Valentine's Day three days away, My Secret Garden flower shop employees were hard at work Friday removing thorns from roses. The shop's owner said preparations began weeks earlier to prepare for her busiest day of the year. The shop owner said she sells more flowers on Valentine's Day than the entire month of March.

 "It really takes weeks and weeks of preparation for Valentine's Day. But one thing about flowers is we can't make them up much in advance, because flowers just don't last very long, they are a gift for the moment," said LaHue.

However, she said she is doing everything she can to be prepared. The store is hiring fourteen temporary delivery drivers for this Monday, and has even registered parking spaces with the city.

But even with these preparations, there are some things that have to be left to the last minute.

"I have one individual shipper who will be bringing me flowers in the middle of the night the night before Valentine's Day. And we'll be here because we stay up all night the night before Valentine's Day to do all the flowers," said LaHue.

The most popular flower? The red rose. The second? Still the rose, just a different shade. In fact, LaHue said the red rose is such a popular flower for the holiday that she has many people call in asking for "roses" that they don't even specify a color.

The holiday isn't just popular in the flower world. Chocolate shops are also busy.

Amy Atkinson, owner of the Candy Factory in Columbia, said on past Valentine's Days the line went out the door. Chocolate-covered strawberries are her most popular item.

"For the past couple years, people have really been verbalizing that their being budget conscious and using coupons and watching what they buy, you know we've seen that a lot in the past couple years. This year I'm not seeing so much of that chatter," she said.

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