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Part of Dollar Tree’s Valentine’s Day display. // Photo by Alix Condit

By Courtney Scott

Valentine’s Day is filled with copious amounts of candy and flowers – but how do businesses in Bellingham prepare for the abundance of orders? 

The National Retail Federation is predicting a total spending of $27.4 billion and an average $196 per person for this Valentine’s Day. About 55% of people celebrate on Feb. 14, and those who do celebrate are typically between the ages of 35-44.                                          

“We have to rent another location in town for Valentine’s Day,” Jodie Sonnon, an employee at A New Leaf Flower Shoppe in Bellingham, said. “It is a big undertaking and our current space is too small to host all the orders.” 

At least three weeks before Valentine’s Day, the flower shop has to start purchasing vases and flowers from different wholesalers in Seattle and Canada. Sonnon said their busiest day is on Valentine's Day.

“We will have lines of guys out the door and onto the sidewalk on Valentine’s Day,” Sonnon said. 

A New Leaf also hires extra employees to take on the influx of orders. 

“I usually buy flowers and chocolate the day before Valentine’s Day for my girlfriend, because it is so busy the day of and then we go out for a nice dinner,” fourth-year Kacper Olejniczak, said.

Pure Bliss Desserts starts preparing a month in advance for Valentine’s Day. 

“Our bakers and decorators start making the desserts a couple days before Valentine’s Day and they bake and frost hundreds and hundreds of cupcakes,” Megan Runkel, manager at Pure Bliss Desserts, said. 

The dessert shop increases staffing and dedicates specific roles to be the most efficient.  

“All of our desserts are baked and prepared fresh, so it’s tough because we can’t do too much preparing,” Runkel said. “We typically have around 100 preorders and the pre-box grab and go desserts.”  

Pure Bliss Desserts is partnering with Forage Floral Studio to open a floral pop-up shop on Valentine’s Day at 10 a.m. Desserts and bouquets will be available. 

“Valentine’s Day is our busiest day of the year! It is such a fun one and our storefront is bustling all day long,” Runkel said.  

Evolve Chocolate + Cafe in Fairhaven makes their fan-favorite truffles for Valentine’s Day. Shannon Fox, co-owner of the café, said Feb. 14 is busier than Christmas. 

“We are not a bakery, but we do bake some goodies for the special day and we host a dinner,” Fox said. 

The café usually hosts a dinner every Friday. This year, Feb.14 falls on a Friday, so they will be hosting a special dinner with the opportunity to make reservations online. 

“There will be kid-size chocolate latte, food, cider and cocktails to celebrate. We are excited to see everyone!” Fox said.


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