Meridian Times staff writer
Valentine’s Day was a special day in Meridian Township, not only for the couples fallen madly in love but for the businesses catering to their epic V-Day plans.
While many restaurants were booked up for days in advance without a trace of Valentine’s Day advertising and Hallmark shops were packed full with last-minute shoppers, other businesses turned to specials to gain the impressive holiday clientele.
Gilbert Chocolates in Meridian Mall received an enormous amount of attention this year with its chocolate-covered strawberries available for Valentine’s Day. The store does not offer these year-round, so V-Day was a special time to purchase Gilbert’s homemade, preservative-free chocolate strawberries.
“There’s such a demand for it,” manager Lonnie Kellogg said. “I’ve seen it for myself these past few days. It’s the craziest thing.”
Gilberts prepared over 150 boxes of chocolate-covered strawberries this year, with eight in a box. The store even had to make more after its initial estimate, Kellogg said.
Dusty’s Cellar in Okemos, which has a wine bar, a tap room, and a restaurant, held its first Valentine’s Day sparkling wine tasting Feb. 14. Both the wine tasting and the restaurant were booked to capacity for the evening.
“We’re just going to be bursting at the seams tonight,” wine buyer and retail manager Steve Okuly had said. “It’ll be fun.”
The Valentine’s Day event was a standing, walk-around wine tasting. Dusty’s Cellar also served champagne and appetizers. They included: mushroom tarts, artichoke dip and chocolate decadence raspberry cakes, Okuly said.
Health and Harmony Massage Therapy owner Kim Russom offered couples massage specials during the holiday.
“There’s always the traditional flowers and dinner but people are looking for something different, something a little more meaningful,” Russom said.
However, her advertisement also reached out to the “anti-Valentine’s crowd” and encouraged a girls night out for the single ladies.