MARQUETTE - Roses and chocolate. The popular combination quickly brings to mind that ever popular holiday: Valentine's Day.
As residents hurry to find the right bouquet of flowers and decide between milk or dark chocolate, some local businesses are immersed in one of their busiest days of the year.
"Flowers are such a gesture and symbol of love," said Kim Smith, owner of Garden Bouquet and Design in Marquette. "For us that translates into a really important holiday and important business for our local downtown store."
Dorothy Karr, a salesperson at Sayklly’s Confectionary and Gifts in the Westwood Mall, fills the candy counter. The store was buzzing with customers Wednesday as people chose sweet treats for their special someones. (Journal photo by Abbey Hauswirth)
Chad Chapman, an employee at Econo Foods in Marquette, dresses in his very best to deliver flowers for Valentine’s Day. Chapman is one of two delivery men today and both will be dressed in tuxedos. (Journal photo by Abbey Hauswirth)
Smith said Valentine's Day is when they see their highest volumes of sales for the year. And while roses are the traditional flower for this special day, she noted that they see a mix of customers looking for both classic and non-traditional flowers. Smith said her store's winning combination of a large selection of high-quality flowers and an artistic staff has made Garden Bouquet and Design a hot spot for Valentine's Day enthusiasts.
Another busy spot today will be Sayklly's Confectionary and Gifts at Westwood Mall in Marquette. The business saw chocolate flying off the shelves Wednesday.
"It's been crazy," said Mary-Jean Gauthier, manager of Sayklly's. "The mall opens at 10 a.m. I was here at 9:30 a.m. and people were waiting outside."
The store offers a variety of chocolate and candies including sugar-free selections. Gauthier said the most popular items are their fudge hearts, chocolate turtles or "snappies," and personalized chocolate boxes.
"If you're going to give someone chocolate, you might as well go for the gusto and give the best," Gauthier said emphatically. "Then you show you really care."
If anyone still harbors doubts, statistics show love truly is in the air for Marquette. The city was recently listed as the number one romantic city by the national video rental kiosk business Redbox, based on the total number of romance-related movie rentals during the past year. According to results posted online by ABC News Radio, Marquette finished ahead of second place Greenville, N.C., and third place Lacrosse, Wis., in renting movies like "The Vow," "This Means War" and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1."
Abbey Hauswirth can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 240.