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Area business sees surge in sales for Valentine’s Day

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MASSENA - Poor-planning husbands and boyfriends aren’t the only ones scrambling to do Valentine’s Day right. Area florists and restaurants are dealing with massive influxes of customers eager to delight their significant others.

Kelly Keleher, owner of the Potsdam Village Florist, called Valentine’s Day business “brutal,” saying they’d sold hundreds of flowers and arrangements.

The Downtown Florist in Massena also saw a huge surge in sales. Owner Patty M. Wells said they’d ordered more roses than in any previous year, and they sold all of them.

“We’ve been preparing all week (for Valentine’s Day). We were very well prepared,” Ms. Wells said. “We appreciate all this support from the community.”

Some florists say red roses were the most popular for flowers this year. The Society of American Florists state red roses are the most-sold flower for Valentine’s Day, accounting for 51 percent of all flower purcahses. Approximately 224 million roses were produced for Valentine’s Day in 2012.

Aside from candy and chocolates, many couples chose to go out for Valentine’s Day, packing some area restaurants.

Jenny Walker, co-owner of the 1844 House in Potsdam, said they had a “full house” Thursday and had to turn some customers away. “It’s all reservations today,” Ms. Walker said.

Ross Violi, co-owner of Violi’s in Massena, said the restaurant was at full capacity late Thursday afternoon. Anyone who ate at Violi’s for Valentine’s Day had a reservation, most of which were made four to five days before the holiday.

Mr. Violi said he brought in extra help to deal with the influx of customers, as he always has to for Valentine’s Day.

According to Time magazine, the average American spends $126 on Valentine’s Day, adding up to $4.1 billion being spent on jewelry, and $3.5 billion toward a romantic evening, such as paying for dinner.

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