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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2000:01:01 00:00:32

Keystone Konfections manager Linda Brown, middle, checks in on bakers Virginia Wiernusz, left, and Heather Melisky as they prepare for Valentine’s Day.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2000:01:01 00:00:36

Monzie’s Floral Design owner Monica Labar-Hughes, left, presents Valentine’s Day floral arrangements with shop manager Lonni Schmeckenbecher.

It’s a busy time for shops specializing in Valentine’s Day essentials, but local businesses in Tunkhannock are prepared for the challenge.

Monzie’s Floral Design and Mayflower Florist each see a spike in business this time of year, as flowers are one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts.

“It’s probably our busiest one-day holiday. Lots of deliveries,” said Karen Passarelli, who owns Mayflower Florist.

Passarelli anticipates fulfilling around 150 deliveries on Valentine’s Day, as opposed to 15 to 20 on an average day.

Four or five Mayflower employees will be out delivering orders on the big day in an effort to get people their gifts as quick as possible.

Mayflower Florist typically delivers within a 50-mile radius, she said, and with the FTD system, flowers can be sent anywhere in the world through mayflowerflorist.net.

“That’s easy for those midnight shoppers,” she said.

Passarelli encouraged customers to be prepared and order early. The store takes some last-minute deliveries on Valentine’s Day, depending on if it’s in town.

The cooler will be stocked on Valentine’s Day, but it usually gets cleared out by the early afternoon, she said. The store is offering typical floral arrangements, as well as candy baskets, teddy bears and more.

Last Wednesday afternoon, Passarelli had mostly everything prepared for the big day.

“We’ve done this for years, so we’re ready to go,” she said. “We’ve premade ribbons and decorated and hopefully there will be no snow that day.”

Similarly, Monzie’s Floral Design is anticipating a spike in business for the holiday.

“With Mother’s Day, that’s a big holiday, but it’s usually spread amongst a week. Christmas also, but Valentine’s Day is our biggest single holiday,” said Lonni Schmeckenbecher, Monzie’s shop manager.

Monzie’s anticipates fulfilling around 200 deliveries and orders on Valentine’s Day, including walk-in purchases, she said. While it’s hard to gauge the difference between Valentine’s Day and an average day, she estimated that five to 10 deliveries usually go out normally.

“That’s a huge increase for a single day, so we just try to be as prepared as we can,” she said.

This preparation includes adding extra delivery drivers and making sure products are stocked up. It could be difficult to anticipate how much merchandise to order, so the store often uses previous years as a reference.

The day of the week that Valentine’s Day falls on is also a factor, she said.

Traditional flowers and Chocolates by Leopold are available at Monzie’s, but Schmeckenbecher said she and owner Monica Labar-Hughes like to think outside of the box too.

The store also offers candles, soaps, bath bombs and plants for people who aren’t interested in flowers. Additionally, the store has a men’s section of soaps, tote bags, mugs and metal puzzles.

For men, a snack basket is also a gift possibility, she said.

“That would be like some of their favorite things, maybe some jerky, root beers, spicy snacks, things like that. So we put that all together in a snack basket and we can deliver that,” she said.

Monzie’s delivery radius is 30 miles, but extends sometimes. Deliveries within 10 miles of the shop are free, Labar-Hughes said. Deliveries requested on Valentine’s Day can possibly be fulfilled, but it depends on how busy the store already is with orders.

Customers can also send flowers anywhere through Monzie’s, which is a member of the Flower Shop Network.

As part of the month’s Frosted February events on Saturday, Feb. 9 and 16, Monzie’s will also offer 25 percent of all giftware during that time period, she said.

For those shopping for someone with a sweet tooth, Keystone Konfections will begin selling milk, dark and white chocolate covered strawberries on Feb. 9, according to the bakery’s manager Linda Brown.

Brown ordered 31 cases of strawberries to prepare for the big day, and the bakery will stay open until 5 p.m. on Feb. 13 and 14 so customers can have time to pick them up.

“We would like everyone to call and order because they’re just going to fly out of here,” she said.

The bakery is also offering Valentine’s Day-themed cakes, cut-out cookies (also available in trays) and cupcakes.

Keystone Konfections’ new cannolis and cream puffs can also make good Valentine’s Day gifts, Brown said.

Business has slowed down since the holiday season when the bakery made about 500 pies for Thanksgiving and 10,000 cookies for Christmas, but bakers at Keystone Konfections are getting ready for things to pick up.

“Work work work. Just make sure we have enough product in, have enough bakers on to staff it, and just preparing to be busy,” Brown said.

The shop will also have its shelves full for Frosted February, and customers can expect to be greeted by Sprinkles, the store mascot.

Ebb’s Candy Jar is also offering sweet treats for Valentine’s Day and getting in on the excitement with Frosted February.

Although Valentine’s Day isn’t always a busy time for the shop, owner Eileen Barziloski said Ebb’s products like macaroons, chocolate covered waffles and kids tackle boxes are a nice change from traditional offerings at the box stores.

On Feb. 9, Ebb’s will host kids activities and an outdoor craft with Cozy Creek Family Campground during Camp Candy from noon to 3 p.m., costing $15 per child. Barziloski said kids can make their own trail mix, s’mores and fondue, plus the outside of the shop will be set up like a campground.

The following week on Feb. 16, the store will host a tasting that pairs chocolate and pretzels with Nimble Hill wine and beer from 2 to 4 p.m.

“It will give people a reason to come out and enjoy the town,” Barziloski said of the Frosted February efforts.

For more information about Frosted February, visit the Tunkhannock Business and Professional Association Facebook page “Tunkhannock Biz.”