Local businesses prepare special Valentine’s Day treats, gifts for your loved ones

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Valentine’s Day is officially here and, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the average person is expected to spend $196 for the big day.

This is also a big day for local businesses as they try to make treats and gifts for your special someone.

Bakers at LaSalle Bakery in Providence have been working since just after midnight making sure those heart-shaped cookies and cakes are in the display case for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

“People always seem a little bit happier on Valentine’s Day like Christmas,” LaSalle Bakery Owner Michael Manni said. “That day that you can make somebody smile or do something nice for somebody and bringing them a heart-shaped cookie or heart-shaped cheesecake for lunch or something along those lines would definitely make them smile.”

Many bakeries have made different kinds of heart-shaped sweets down to a science.

“Typically the decorators are in at 2 a.m. in the mornings and the breadmakers are in at 12 a.m. and always come in now on the holiday a little bit earlier and stay a little bit later,” Manni said. “Everything we make is made fresh so there are very few things you can prepare too far in advance because it’s after the next day, we get rid of it.”

If cookies and cake are not the way you show your love, then maybe a nice bouquet of flowers is.

Semia Dunne of the Floral Reserve has been working long hours for weeks so florists can have their roses, ranunculus and other unique flowers, and her customers can have her carefully curated designs.

Unlike bakeries, florists do a lot of their preparation way before Valentine’s Day.

“Lots of ordering, lots of preordering, making sure you have a beautiful selection on the floor for florists to come in and be inspired,” Dunne said. “Not only pick up their preorders but also later in the week they’re getting more and more orders that they have a place they can go to find really quality, beautiful flowers.”

Dunne said while her business does well on Valentine’s Day, it is a sneak peek for what is ahead.

“I will say the bigger floral holiday is Mother’s Day,” Dunne said. “That trumps Valentine’s Day all day long.”

For LaSalle Bakery, Manni said Valentine’s Day is considered a medium holiday for the business. The big ones are Christmas, Easter and St. Joseph’s Day, but Valentine’s Day is one where they can still have a lot of fun.

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