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Last-second sweethearts have options

For centuries they sang serenades in fragrant arbors under moonlit windows and tree-shaded balconies, but nowadays they have options galore – orchids from Hawaii, European chocolates, even heart-shaped pizzas – to express their love. So on Valentine’s Day, the last-minute Romeos will have more choices to choose their presents from than they could possibly care to check out.

In Dorado Chocolates in downtown Grass Valley, one can buy more than 100 types of chocolates and truffles, and in a variety of gift packs too.

“The big sellers are the Signature D (chocolates) – my signature line,” said Ken Kossoudji, the owner of the store. “It comes in a variety of boxes, from heart-shaped ones to the more contemporary European boxes. The Signature D consists of old-world European-style chocolates. I learned to make them in Paris.”



All around the store – redolent with the smell of dark chocolate – boxes of different sizes and shapes tantalize the buyer. There are the standard rectangular ones tied with ribbons, with red and pink hearts printed on them. But on the fancier side, there are the faux giraffe and the faux tiger heart-shaped boxes with a velvety finish of giraffe and tiger skins. Prices range from $10 to $80, depending on the box and the chocolates inside. The $80 pack is a heart-shaped box made of crimson raw silk. The box slides open, revealing a shiny, golden interior.

At Confectionately Yours on Mill Street in Grass Valley, choices are equally copious. A special table’s arranged with Valentine’s Day merchandise. Among the innumerable boxes of candies, and a vase of red and pink chocolate roses, three heart-shaped boxes draw ones attention the most: a cream-colored box with a broad golden gauze-ribbon with pale pink and blue flowers printed on it; a blue box with tiny collars and a tiny striped tie on it, and a black and pink box with a lace and net corset-patterned lid.




“We’re dipping strawberries. It’s going very well, we are very busy,” said Glenda Blair, co-owner of the shop. “We’re dipping strawberries in milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate.”

The best-sellers include gift boxes with Valentine Day’s themes, truffles and strawberries, Blair said. Prices of the gift-packs include the cost of the box along with that of the chocolates, $14 a pound.

In flowers, however, people seem to prefer the traditional red roses over the more spiky, pink-petalled spider mums, the sensual red Hawaiian anthuriums, the deep purple orchids, or the peach pincushion protea.

“More than two-thirds of the customers order for red roses,” said Mark Johnson, co-owner of Foothill Flowers. “We sell a lot of carnations and orchids and other flowers as well.”

Though quite a number of orders have been made, Johnson is expecting orders to be placed on Valentine’s Day too. In fact, according to Blair, the male customers have not yet started coming.

“We get a lot of parents and grandparents buying for their children,” she said Monday, about most of the buyers in her shops. “I would say the large percentage of customers have been female customers (who are buying for their children). We are expecting the men to show up in droves later. Tomorrow will be the big day.”

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To contact staff writer Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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