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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2018:01:30 23:51:22

Eileen Barziloski shows a candy box, one of the many items at Ebb’s Candy Jar.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2018:01:30 23:27:51

STAFF PHOTOS/C.J. MARSHALL Karen Passarelli holds up ‘The Box of Love,’ containing flowers and other items at Mayflower Florist.

Valentine’s Day is the time of year when people send flowers, candy, jewelry and other tokens of affection as expressions of love. As a result, enterprises catering to such needs experience a spike in business during this time of year.

“Valentine’s Day is our biggest one day holiday,” Karen Passarelli of Mayflower Florist said.

However, she and Monica LaBar-Hughes, owner of Monzie’s Flora Design, agreedthey do their best business Mother’s Day week.

Still, Valentine’s Day will be a very busy time at both flower shops.

“We make a lot of deliveries,” Passarelli explained. “Our drivers are very familiar with every back road. We take out a little bit of everything.”

“We deliver in a 30-mile radius,” LaBar-Hughes explained. “Deliveries less than 10 miles from the shop is free, but there’s a low delivery charge for 10-30 miles.

Monzie’s expects to handle over 200 deliveries on Valentine’s Day, while Mayflower is anticipating around 300. On a normal day, each florist shop delivers to between 15 to 20 customers.

That means both shops have to hire additional drivers to handle the extra work.

Those wishing to send flowers or other items to loved ones who are far away can take advantage of the FTD service at Mayflower, or the wire service at Monzie’s. Each allows orders to be placed with florists throughout the country and various parts of the world. This particular service is popular with workers in the gas industry wishing to send a gift to a loved one back home.

Businesses are the most popular places for local deliveries.

“Our joke is, the way to a woman’s heart is through a jealous co-worker,” LaBar-Hughes said. “Most girls are at work throughout the day.

Pre-orders are recommended, but not necessary. Both shops will be well stocked in anticipation of the holiday.

“We have stuff in the cooler, ready to go,” Passarelli explained.

For those wanting to think ‘out of the box’ for a Valentine gift, ‘Just One More Page’ may have the answer. Owner Laura Wulff said that she has ordered extra jewelry and other items in anticipation of people looking for Valentine’s gifts.

“We have tote bags and other items for book lovers,” she said, expecting an increase in traffic from people who will be shopping at Monzie’s, which is adjacent to the bookstore.

Candy has always been a popular item to send to a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, and Ebb’s Candy Jar is standing ready to take orders. However, Eileen Barziloski is uncertain about how much increased traffic will occur at the store.

“It’s hit and miss,” she explained. “Because Wednesday (Feb. 14) is Ash Wednesday. A lot of people give up candy for Lent.”

Many people celebrate Valentine’s Day a little early under such circumstances, Barziloski explained, and the store usually sees an increase in traffic at this time of year.

Although business picks up, Ebb’s usually doesn’t usually see a dramatic increase in sales, due to competition from the box stores. But Ebb’s offers a much greater variety, which people enjoy when they stop by, she said.

“People can come in and pick any selection they want,” Barziloski said. “Peanut butter cups are popular, as well as macaroons. We also make up candy bags.”

Confectioners also make up special items for Valentine’s Day. Keystone Konfections offers chocolate covered strawberries which has proved a popular holiday treat. Staffer Anita Meixner said the strawberries will be available on Feb. 9, 10, 13, and 14. People can pre-order by calling 570-836-7250.

Other items available for the holiday include cake pops, cupcakes, heart-shaped cookies, and cookies trays, she said.