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Valentine's Day Gift Traditions Alive in corridor

Flower designers work into the night Tuesday at Pierson's in Cedar Rapids so hundreds of bouquets can be delivered on Valentine's Day

Linn County, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) – Birds of Paradise were flying across the tables and beautiful red roses were being arranged by the dozens as the Valentine’s Day rush broke into a sprint Tuesday at some corridor businesses. Third generation flower shop owner Al Pierson and his crew were swamped with phone orders and a lot of men dashing in, hoping it wasn’t too late, “ It’s controlled chaos, controlled zaniness, it’s an interesting holiday. Valentine’s Day is the single busiest day of the year, probably because most guys don’t plan ahead and I put myself in that same category.”

Pierson says 90 years of experience helps to prepare, but it’s still a lot of work for his crew getting hundreds of bouquets ready for delivery drivers to take them to smiling sweethearts across the area starting bright and early February 14th. He says the price for a dozen roses in the corridor can range a great deal between shops and depending on what you want. He says a dozen roses wrapped up may only be $20, but long-stemmed red roses in a vase with greenery could be as much as $100.

While some surveys indicate more people are moving away from the traditional candy and flowers on this day of romance, Gae Sharp-Richardson at The Chocolate Shop says that’s not a description of her day before Valentine’s, “ It looks like a tornado has come to uptown Marion and landed in The Chocolate Shop!”

At 5:00 Tuesday afternoon a line wound around the inside of the shop as a constant stream of customers waited to order. Both children and adults showed the same wide-eyed expression as they looked into the glass case filled with tempting truffles, from deep dark chocolate and peach flavored, to hazelnut and a new confection invention that Gae says boarders on criminal indulgence, “ My son suggested we just cover chocolate with chocolate. So we have a three layer heart, that starts with white chocolate and then we cover it in dark chocolate and then we cover that in milk chocolate. Yea that is almost illegal.”

She says couples who celebrate Valentine’s Day started coming in last week, women and dads with their children started coming in over the weekend and on Wednesday afternoon she expects it will be almost all men. Both shops say procrastinating is predictable and they’ve even had people knock on the door after closing, but they always try to help those customers get home with something special for their sweethearts. It is all about love.

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