Chocolate, flowers reign on Vale­ntine’s Day

Trad­itional favorites keep shop owners busy

SAN ANTONIO - The aroma of Schakolad Chocolate Factory at The Vineyard in North San Antonio, hits you once you walk through the door.

A rich, sweet scent that might make you feel like you just walked into Willy Wonka’s personal playground.

“The first thing they say is, ‘Oh that smell, it smells delicious here,’” said Scott Smith, one of the owners.

“It just has to be chocolate and we like to do something special and little for the kids and get them special chocolates,” said Carrie Kilwy.

“She keeps me in check because I'd go crazy,” said her husband Jason Kilwy.  “Between her and the kids I'd spend too much money.”

Smith said they start preparing for Valentine’s Day right after Christmas but most of what’s bought for the big day gets made just a few days before.

“It's a lot of hours,” said Smith.  “Go home and get five or six hours of sleep then come back and start making the truffles again.”

Smith said chocolate covered strawberries are always the top seller but many people are picking up edible heart-shaped boxes.

His shop will open its doors at 6 a.m. Valentine’s Day, ready for last-minute shoppers. 

While he argues that chocolate, especially dark chocolate has major health benefits, down the road at Stone Oak Florist, manager Jodi Fagen said flowers are a lot healthier.

“Because they're not fattening,” said a laughing Fagen. “That's the best part.”

She and her staff started working around 7 a.m. Monday morning and have survived on snacks strategically placed around their work tables. 

Because flowers are perishable, there’s little pre-planning they can do.

“The most preparation we can do is containers and getting more people in and hiring lots of extra hands,” said Fagen.

Red roses dominate the shopping lists of most buyers and a extra refrigerated truck sat outside the store with 200 delivery orders, which the store had to stop taking this morning.

They still expect a very big walk-in crowd when they open their doors at 8 tomorrow morning.

“You get gradually busier and busier as the week goes on then it explodes into a crazy nut house,” said Fagen.

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