Valentine’s Day – it’s all about Women

Published 7:03 pm Friday, February 10, 2012

FLOWERS BY COOPER’S owner Bill Cooper and designer Alvesta Hopkins represent 73 combined years of floral arranging for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day may not be as big an event for most merchants as Christmas, but for those in the florist business it is the busiest day of the year.

Bill Cooper, owner of Flowers by Cooper, has been a shop owner for 27 years. He says Valentine’s Day is his biggest sales day and he calls in all his helpers to keep up with the demand.

Janice Martin works part-time at the florist. Her first day of work there was a Valentine’s Day, and she confesses she loves it.

“People go crazy on Valentine’s Day, especially men,” she said. “We cater to last-minute orders and are available all weekend to take them; but there have been a few times customers have come late on Valentine’s Day and they have to get something.”

Cooper agrees, “We don’t turn anybody down. We stay late if we have to.”

Cooper relocated his business to the Five Corners site in June 2011. He provided a bit of history on the building, saying Cato’s Florist began there in 1933, and occupied it for over 40 years. Alvesta Hopkins, who once worked at that location for Cato, has 46 years experience in the design business. She now works for Cooper and says she has come back home to where she started.

You are never too young or too old to get excited about Valentine’s Day. Five-year-old Carlee Dollar, daughter of Cliff and Kellie Dollar, took a shine to a Valentine gift basket featuring Snoopy at Evelyn’s of Bainbridge Pharmacy.

Sonya Dean, a gifts clerk at the pharmacy, said since their gift department has expanded they are placing more emphasis on Valentine’s Day this year than they have in the past. They have prepared Valentine’s gift baskets, one of which contained a white fuzzy dog, chocolates, a Vera Bradley wallet and a John Medeiros necklace. Customers may also design their own basket from the large selection of gift items.

Ronnie Godwin of Godwin’s Jewelers said the month of February is traditionally his third-largest volume month of the year, behind November and December.

“It is traditionally an engagement season and we sell a lot of diamond engagement rings, as well as diamonds to mark anniversaries during February,” he said.

If you can’t decide whether to choose flowers, chocolates, dinner or jewelry as a valentine gift for your sweetheart, Godwin’s has the answer. It is advertising a package where you get it all. If you spend $199 at Godwin’s you receive a box of chocolates, plus a gift certificate to Flowers by Cooper and one to Beef O’ Brady’s restaurant.

For those who prefer to dine at home, the groceries are all featuring traditional Valentine’s Day foods — steaks, seafood and wines. You can finish off the meal with a delicious dessert from Isaac’s Bakery. Owner Marilyn Collins said they sell a lot of  goodies for Valentine’s Day: “Anything sweet that is decorated in red or pink.”

Reeves Linens and Gifts does a steady Valentine business with their jewelry lines of Brighton and John Wind. On Thursday afternoon, in a period of 30 minutes, they sold what Gloria Reeves described as “really nice” Valentine’s Day gifts to two husbands who purchased jewelry for their wives. Another young man was looking over the Brighton bracelets, ready to make the right selection for his girlfriend.

Asked if they made many sales of men’s gifts to women, Gloria Reeves laughingly replied, “Not really. Valentine’s Day is all about us women.”