Local Chocolatiers Prepare for Valentine's Rush - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Local Chocolatiers Prepare for Valentine's Rush

Posted: Updated: Feb 13, 2014 07:42 AM

Chocolate shop owners say they are prepping for the Valentine's Day rush they expect to get Thursday and Friday. On a national level, The National Confectioners Association says about 40 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine's Day this year. The organization also predicts people will spend more than $1 billion on treats for the occasion.

The owners at The Shameless Chocoholic in LeClaire say Thursday will be one of their biggest days of the year.

The shop just opened up in the fall, but one of the owners, Rebecca Burns, has spent many years in the industry. She says in her experience, Valentine's Day sales have always come in second to Christmas chocolate sales.

Burns says since her and co-owner Jen Williams' shop is new, they don't have an estimate of how many Valentine's orders they'll get Thursday and Friday.

But they predict chocolate covered strawberries and truffles will be their top sellers this holiday. Burns says those always come in at the top of the list every Feb. 14.

Aside from the traditional treats, Williams and Burns say they've also been getting orders for some that are more outside the standard heart-shaped box.

"We're trying to do things that are a little more unusual," said Burns. "We've actually had people looking for bacon as well, we do a candied bacon."

Burns says she's also had orders for caramel covered pears and apples, this Valentine's Day, with the apples being part of a popular new Valentine's candy trend, she says.

Williams said she's also seen a lot of people asking for the store's chocolate and caramel covered chips this week.

The demand could be part of a trend this year the National Confectioners Association identifies as 16 percent of Americans wanting more high-end and specialty products.

But as far as traditional chocolate goes, the association reports chocolates with caramel are the most popular flavor.

Overall, The National Retail Federation estimates the average person will spend about $134 on candy, cards, gifts, dinner and more. The NRF says that's up slightly from last year's estimate of about $131. 

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