Local retail stores ready for V-Day

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As Valentine’s Day approaches, local flower and candy sales are at a peak.

By Leslie Wade / Special to The Malibu Times

Walk into the local Ralph’s grocery store, and it is impossible to miss the heart-shaped balloons, bouquets of long-stemmed roses, and the hundreds of boxes of sweethearts candies, adorned with the phrase “Be Mine,” that make an annual appearance in February.

Valentine’s Day is the top holiday for florists, bringing in approximately 40 percent of annual sales revenue, according to aboutflowers.com.

“It’s hands down the busiest holiday of the year for florists,” Dena Feingold, owner of Malibu Garden Florist, confirmed. “It’s like the Olympics of floristry. We do somewhere around 100 deliveries, just on Valentine’s Day.”

Feingold said this year the order numbers will be lower than previous years, as a direct result of the holiday falling on a Sunday. Weekends are the slowest time for florists, but regardless of the day of the week, roses are always the most desired flower. “It’s no surprise that we sell about 2,500 roses just on Valentine’s Day,” Feingold said.

In addition to traditional bouquets of roses, orchard flower arrangements are in high demand at Cosentino’s flower shop, which specializes in unique flower arrangements.

“Orchard plants are incredible, they are so full of blooms and they last a long time,” John Cosentino, co-owner of Cosentino’s flower shop, said. “Each arrangement is individually styled. That’s really our hallmark here.”

Local restaurants also will experience an increase of business this holiday weekend.

Italian eatery Guido’s Malibu anticipates a large crowd, said Ray Martinez, Guido’s employee.

“It’s always an unusually busy holiday for us,” Martinez said.

While Guido’s is famous for Italian cuisine, the broiled sea bass, served over sauteed spinach with a light lemon and caper sauce and a glass of chardonnay, will be the romantic meal of choice, Martinez said.

The Beachcomber Cafe, located on the Malibu Pier, also anticipates a full restaurant on Valentine’s Day, said General Manager James Calo, adding that wine will be the most ordered beverage at the restaurant.

“There is something about wine on Valentine’s Day that enhances the mood,” Calo said. “It’s really become a universal language.”

As for gifts of jewelry, rings are the traditional item of choice for the romantic holiday at Malibu Rock Star, which specializes in gothic and renaissance style pieces. But this year vintage jewelry is in high demand, said Rock Star jewelry designer Roman Paul, who predicts that vintage silver and gold necklaces will be making a comeback for Valentine’s Day.

The time-honored gift of choice for Valentine’s Day is chocolate.

The Chocolatebox Cafe, which opened in November, is featuring heart-shaped macaroons from Paris, handmade Belgium truffles and dark chocolates squares, ornamented with letters in every hue, perfect for spelling out “I love you.”

K Chocolatiere is also offering gourmet chocolates and truffles this Valentine’s Day, including their signature holiday treat, the garden of roses box, filled with treats.

“We sell over 1,000 boxes around Valentine’s Day,” Diane Kron, owner of K Chocolatier, said. “Often we get orders placed a year in advance in order to ensure availability.”

Truffles from K Chocolatier are a favorite of customers, including Larry King and Christie Brinkley.

Kron attributes the surge of chocolate sales to the feeling that people get when eating it, a feeling that is desirable for Valentine’s Day. “Chocolate creates an amorous mood for those that consume it,” Kron said.

According to webmd.com, chocolate contains the chemicals phenyl ethylamine and serotonin, which are thought to be mood boosters and mild sexual stimulants. This idea has proven to be true throughout history, beginning when Aztec emperor Montezuma drank more than 50 cups of chocolate a day before entering his Hiram, Kron said.

Another result of the romantic holiday might be an increase in the population.

Hospitals nationwide report an increase in baby deliveries in the month of November, which is a direct result of more babies being conceived on Valentine’s Day or during the month of February.

The Obstetric and Gynecological division of Cedars-Sinai medical center reported 593 babies born during the month of November, which is one of their busier months, compared to a total of 6,500 babies delivered annually.