DECATUR — While many people have this weekend’s Super Bowl on their minds, others are rushing to buy flowers and gifts for that special someone in time for Valentine’s Day.
“I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day and my husband always makes sure to get me a lot of flowers,” said Christy Coates, floral designer at Svendsen Florist. “Everybody here works at the same time during the holiday and we work until it’s done. It can be hard and exhausting but it’s fun to be together.”
Second-generation floral designer Jessie Houser said Valentine’s Day is about putting smiles on people’s faces and their beautiful arrangements that overflow with various flowers help bring that to loved ones.
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“This has always been my family and I’ve always loved flowers,” Houser said. “It’s one thing I can say that I’m really good and still love doing.”
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, local businesses and florists are already getting orders ready and preparing for the last-minute purchases from forgetful partners.
Unlike Coates and Houser’s optimism, Svendsen’s owner Johanne Maple said Valentine’s Day can be stressful with most of their orders being placed the week prior and making sure flowers do not freeze before they are delivered or picked up.
Other than the handful of last-minute shoppers that are expected to show up Monday, Maple said they are experiencing problems getting glassware, baskets and wet floral foam, which will not be available until May.
“Basically we are buying anything that we can get our hands on,” Maple said. “They usually come in different shapes and sizes and we usually rebind them into bricks to be used again.”
As for flowers, Maple said they made sure to order roses, tulips and other flora back in December to have them in time for this week and over the years, they have have started to make more mixed arrangements along with their more traditional bouquets of a dozen roses.
“We have arrangements made in the front lobby so that people can just come in and pick something up, especially the late caller that comes in the day before or the day of,” Maple said. “They will still be able to take something home with them.”
Other florists, like Lori Barrett, co-owner of the Sacred Garden, said they are also experiencing shortages with wet flora foam and some plants but luckily they will be using vases in all of their designs this years.
On top of offering traditional bouquets of roses, Barrett said they have a special mixed arrangement aptly named “Cupid’s Choice” that includes a mixed vase of red, white and pink flowers that has some roses in it to make it not as expensive.
“We always call this our Black Friday because we do really invest so much into it and cross our fingers to hope that there’s not a snowstorm or some freak weather event that makes it more challenging,” Barrett said. “It’s a stressful holiday, you can tell it wasn’t invented by a florists because there’s no way we would put it in the winter.”
Both Svendsen’s Florist and the Secret Garden also offer items for gifts likes balloons, mugs, stuffed animals and candy, but if someone wanted something a bit sweeter they are other options.
Del’s Popcorn Shop general manager Annah Hulva said they will be selling popcorn hearts, assortments of fudge and praline, as well as chocolate covered strawberries priced at $2.50 a piece or $25 for a pound.
Hulva said it can be a little hard to keep up on popcorn because each batch only makes about six bags, but otherwise they seem to be stocked up on everything else including other candies like gummies and suckers.
“I mean we have a ton of men that come in and want to get something for their wife, girlfriend or grandma,” Hulva said. “We just want to make everything look nice and make everything going out the door looks the best that it can.”