With Valentine’s Day approaching, shops across Somerset County are preparing themselves for what is sure to be a busy week leading up to the big day.
Things are especially busy this time of year in the floral industry, and B & C Hillsborough Florists, located at 601 Route 206 in Hillsborough, is ready to take on the demand.
“Valentine’s Day is one of our busiest holidays. This year, now that it’s going to fall on a Tuesday, it will be a busier Valentine’s Day than if it falls on a weekend,” said Carley Yurasek of B & C Hillsborough Florists. “The best course of action is just to be prepared for the holiday because of the increase in business. We start three months beforehand researching best quality roses from best growers in the area. They’ll pay a little more for it, but customers come back and say they last very long.”
The shop’s “Enduring Passion” bouquet of twelve red roses has a name that reflects the longevity of the roses and, according to the company’s website, is moderately priced. This bouquet of roses costs just $44.95 and is one of many special bouquets offered this time of year. B & C also offers varieties of mixed bouquets for those who want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with something a bit different.
All seems to be going according to plan for the florists, although there is one unpredictable factor that tends to rear its head this time of year: the weather.
“Hopefully the weather will hold out,” Yurasek said. “Last year we had good weather, too, and that really helps. If it snows, people can’t get out of the house to buy our flowers.”
Likewise, another business that benefits from the pleasant weather brings is Sweet!, is an independently-owned candy shop located in the heart of Basking Ridge.
“We’re very weather-dependent and dependent on foot traffic. If it’s nice out, the kids are out,” said Sweet! co-owner Jennifer Aaron. “Business has been good because the weather’s been good this winter.”
Although Sweet! offers its “Sweet of the Week” promotion year-round, the deal’s focus is usually not on Valentine’s candy, even as the holiday approaches. Generally, people will buy Valentine’s candy regardless of whether or not there is a special deal.
“We really move a lot of the Valentine’s stuff on its own,” Aaron said. “It’s been shocking to learn through all the holidays that people are very last-minute. We get a big bump the week before and the day before, even that day.”
Sweet! has plenty of other candy for those just looking to give into their sweet tooth. It even serves as an after-school hangout for local kids and teens.
“We definitely have a split between customers who buy our Valentine’s-specific themed gifts and people who buy the general candy for the holidays,” Aaron said.
Even ice cream shops are getting in on the action this time of year, such as 16 Handles in Warren. While not a typical destination for Valentine’s shoppers, 16 Handles may be a good stop for those looking for a fun Valentine’s date idea. The shop’s flavor of the month, “Chocolate Love Affair”, is even Valentine’s-themed.
“If you love chocolate and consider yourself a true romantic, you have to bring your special someone to 16 Handles in Warren for the flavor of the month,” said Lisa Domenick of her shop.