For some, Deborah Partridge says, the Valentine's Day lesson was learned last year.
"We've been taking Valentine orders since the first of the year actually," said the owner of Martina's Flowers and Gifts in Martinez.
Deborah Partridge, the owner of Martina's Flowers and Gifts in Martinez, said her store has been taking Valentine orders since the first of the year.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
But for all others, Partridge remains ready and waiting for that last-minute purchase.
"We plan to be prepared," she said, adding that her store also sells candy, silk arrangements, bath and body products, scented candles and potpourri. "Thursday at Martina's is like Christmas Eve at the mall. ... We'll have all three cash registers going and plenty of extra salespeople on the floor. We've got 55 trucks running this year to make the delivery."
Partridge said today would be the better day to make final Valentine's Day purchases, but Thursday won't be too late - as long as you don't mind standing in line. So far, she said, the top seller at her store has been the traditional one.
"We try to give the customer what they want," she said. "And the number one seller is still roses."
Although red roses have been the most requested, other colors are catching up.
"There's an increasing number of other colors that are gaining popularity," she said. "Not just solid colors, but roses with two colors."
Her store has also taken requests this year for orchid bouquets and a plant nicknamed the Lucky Bamboo, "which is actually a plant, but it grows just standing in an inch and a half of water in a vase," said Partridge.
At Fat Man's Forest West on Washington Road in Evans, roses and balloons are going strong.
"Men are kind of stuck," joked LaRue Pittman, general assistant manager of the store. "They like those red roses."
Pittman said her store also will be prepared for the final days leading up to the holiday.
"We order such that we'll have plenty for those last-minute calls on Thursday," she said. "So on Wednesday we should still have plenty."
Meanwhile, at What-Ever, A Unique Boutique on Washington Road in Evans there will be plenty of things offered to accompany flowers.
"I would say we have a lot of sterling silver jewelry that people have been looking at," said Joanna Neumeister, a store worker. "That, and we have some really unique picture frames available."
Neumeister says people who shop at the store also save time.
"Our things come gift-wrapped," she said.
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