By DARINA NAIDU
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Someone’s sweetheart is getting an exotic chocolate diamond engagement ring today; others boxes of chocolates.
Everybody has different tastes and ideas of what is romantic. And budgets for Valentine’s Day, as well.
Roses are the most popular gift for Feb. 14, according to Dianne Miller, owner of Country Expression Flowers and Gifts in Plattsburgh. However, she also said her customers often prefer flowers that last longer, such as daisies and tulips.
“We have had a man come in for an arrangement of orchids because his wife doesn’t like roses,” she said this week.
Her arrangements start at $25.
Customers have also ordered basket arrangements and lilies from the shop as Valentine’s Day surprises, and sometimes plants.
“I would say about 10 to 20 percent of my customers prefer plants over bouquets,” Miller said.
The florist was ready to meet the demands of her customers and had heart-shaped ivy topiaries, among other plants, for the special occasion.
For Valentine’s Day this year, Lake Shore Candy in Plattsburgh’s Champlain Centre mall offered a Cupid’s Collection — heart-shaped truffles in specially decorated boxes.
Fruit baskets and stuffed animals have also sold well.
“(Or) customers can custom-make their own boxes with their favorite chocolates,” said Ann Sweeney, one of the owners.
The prices for a pound of chocolates or truffles range from $14 to $18, which is the store’s regular price.
Sweeney said that one time a man asked to have a diamond ring placed among the chocolates in a box for his girlfriend.
The approach of Valentine’s Day also brought many customers to Adirondack Chocolates in Lake Placid.
“Our truffles have been a big hit this year,” Manager Kim Abare said by phone.
Women, she observed, are usually more prepared and come early, while the guys show up the day before or right on Feb. 14.
ROMANTIC WINE GLASSES
Stephanie’s Little Luxuries, a store in AuSable Forks that specializes in painted glassware, has been selling wine glasses for the romantic season.
“Customers have been buying wine glasses with bears or hearts painted on them,” owner/artist Stephanie Richards said.
The shop offers customized and personalized glassware, such as glasses, mugs and plates, and the prices for customized wine glasses range from $10 to $18, depending on the patterns.
Some shoppers have had quite a unique taste in picking Valentine’s Day gifts, she said.
“A man came in the other day and asked for frogs printed on his wine glasses,” she said.
Richards said Valentine’s Day doesn’t bring in that many customers; she tends to do bigger business for weddings.
“Most people go for the card,” she said about Feb. 14. “What I do is different.”
While most couples go for gifts, some arrange a romantic getaway.
Gary Brandstetter, president of New Horizons Tours and Travel in Plattsburgh, said a number of people booked trips and cruises for this week.
He said the two most popular destinations around Valentine’s Day are Cancun, Mexico, and Las Vegas.
“Everybody has different tastes. Some people like cruises, and others want to go to Vegas,” Brandstetter said.
He added that what he does most for Valentine’s week is book packages such as all-inclusive flights, accommodations and meals or find special deals.
Other big Valentine’s destinations are Puerto Rico and Disney World.
THE NEXT LEVEL
“Jewelry is the most romantic gift you can give someone,” said Michael Beglin, owner of Beglin’s Lake Placid Jewelers and Gifts.
The store usually gets a lot of customers as Valentine’s Day approaches.
“They get rings, earrings and pendants. A lot of heart-shaped ones.”
Feb. 14 can also be the perfect day to take it to the next level.
This year, the jewelry store had two orders of engagement rings for Valentine’s Day.
“I had one customer buy a chocolate diamond ring to put in a chocolate box,” Beglin said.
The jeweler doesn’t raise prices for special occasions, he said, and the prices for rings range from $25 up to $10,000.
Beglin said young people have also come to buy jewelry for their loved ones.
“I think it’s such a nice thing to do for the one you love.”