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Shops ready for big delivery day

Drivers are geared up for today's avalanche of Valentine's Day deliveries.

Area businesses prepared weeks in advance for the day when so many flowers and treats are delivered to sweethearts.

"This is like the Super Bowl for the flower industry," said Christy Bennett, office manager for Young Floral Co. on Pennsylvania Avenue in Charleston.

"We have 15 drivers and each one has a hopper for a total of 30," she said, referring to a second person who hops in and out of the van to tote the flowers to the door.

"We expect 600 deliveries. We've ordered thousands of roses. Most of them are red because that is the most popular color."

Aside from roses in various colors, this year's flower selection includes tropical orchids, kalanchoes, cyclamens, hydrangeas, azaleas, and violets.

A driver and hopper work together on deliveries so one can run inside while the other mans the vehicle, eliminating the issue of finding a parking place and making the run more efficient.

Some customers ordered flowers in early January and others at the last minute, Bennett said. While the shop does its best to accommodate customers, sometimes the load becomes too heavy for drivers to meet demand. In that case, customers may still stop by the shop, where flowers and gifts are ready for "grab and go," Bennett said.

Meanwhile, orders arrived steadily at Edible Arrangements at Riverwalk Plaza in South Charleston. This was the perfect spot for those who wished to send their sweeties fancy fruit arrangements and chocolate-covered strawberries.

"We always load up with extra drivers and triple our staff for the holiday," said owner Kim Ryan. "People ordered early. We try to get our guys to think ahead."

A dozen delivery drivers were ready for today's load of goodies, also with "jumpers" on board.

Lil' Bit of Heaven Cupcakes owner Teri Blevins offered Valentine specialties this year. A call to that business on Tuesday was answered by a machine message stating the goodies were already sold out but orders could be placed again on Friday.

Valentine treats included giant chocolate cupcakes with chocolate-dipped strawberries and heart-shaped sparkles. There were also Valentine Towers that included three boxes of goodies with cupcakes, cupcake-stuffed strawberries, and gourmet cookie sandwiches.

On Wednesday, Blevins said she had been working steadily to fill orders. Valentine's Day is such a busy time that she puts other order options on hold from Feb. 12 to 14.   

Aside from flowers and sweets, some chose to send their Valentine a main course.

Husson's Pizza locations will offer heart-shaped pizzas throughout the month of February with Valentine's Day being the busiest, Nick Husson said.

"It's our busiest day of the year," Husson said. "Everyone works on that day."

Husson's has been in business 36 years, and the heart-shaped pizzas have been offered for about 15 years with the popularity continually rising. Drivers are ready to deliver the pies, but orders could take longer than usual with such heavy orders.

"It's almost surprising," he said. "Last year we sold a lot, but it continues to go up every year." 

Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at charlotte@dailymal.com or 304-348-1246.


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