ABILENE, Texas - Valentine's Day is just around the corner and Abilene business owners say it is time to pre-order gifts.
Pam McCombs, owner of Candies by Vletas, said Valentine's Day orders started pouring in right after Christmas. She said the chocolate covered strawberries are the most popular.
"We do a gourmet strawberry that's great big and has a really good flavor to it so people look forward every year to the chocolate strawberries," McCombs said.
One dozen of the strawberries, packed in a heart-shaped box, costs $35. Gourmet chocolates range from $25 to $100.
"The front porch will be full of people waiting to get in when we open on February 14," McCombs said.
She said preparing for the crowd is a two-day process, beginning with cleaning the strawberries the night before and coming in around 4 a.m. on Valentine's Day to dip the strawberries in chocolate.
"We clean all the strawberries individually, one at a time.," McCombs said. "We dip all day long until we either run out of strawberries or people quit coming in. And sometimes it has been seven o'clock in the evening that evening because there are some people--mostly men--that will forget that it's Valentine's Day until someone mentions it to them."
Gary Norman, owner of Gary's Flowers, said he and his employees also have a chaotic few hours leading up to Valentine's Day.
"You just have to have everything ready and then you put everything together at the last minute," Norman said. "We tagged all of our orders as they come so we have a heart sticker that we put on them and that means that they go out first thing that morning."
Valentines Day is Thursday, Feb. 14.
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