By Courtney Sweeney
Williamston Post staff member
As Feb. 14 approaches, local businesses are gearing up for another busy Valentine’s Day in Williamston.
“The whole night is really a result of proper planning,” said Lorenzo Castillo, manager at Red Cedar Grill. “Last year we sold out every seat including the bar, so there was no getting through without getting a reservation.”
Those wanting to make it on the guest list of the restaurant should make a reservation as soon as possible, according to Castillo. It’s already about 75 percent full, and he expects they’ll be filling up the bar again this year.
Couples lucky enough to get into Red Cedar Grill will be offered the Valentine’s Day special: dinner for two for $65, which includes an appetizer, soup or salad, an entrée and dessert, said Castillo. There will be a special for drinks as well including on-tap beer, all brewed in Michigan, and the restaurant’s wine selection.
Red Cedar Grill won’t be the only merchant selling out on wine. Burgdorf’s Winery offers a few specialty wines that seem to sell around this time of year. These include a red raspberry wine and “Perfection,” a black raspberry cherry wine.
“They’re just like sweetheart wines. My husband calls them cuddle wines,” said Deborah Burgdorf who co-owns the winery with her husband, Dave. “They’re a big hit, and a lot of people are coming in for those.”
Dawn-Marie Joseph, owner of Vivee’s Floral Garden and Café, anticipates a hectic holiday as well.
“We’ve been getting ready for Valentine’s Day since the first of January. We’re going to start getting flowers in for it at the end of this week, and there’s a lot of prep work that goes into the flowers to get them ready,” said Joseph. “It’s a big deal, a great big deal. I love it, it’s very exciting.”
Michelle McDebitt, an employee at Vivee’s, agreed that it’s one of the busiest, but most fun days of the year. She pointed out that many different packages can be put together with the flowers, seeing as the shop also offers a variety of homemade chocolates, balloons and teddy bears.
“If you think romance, we can do it,” said McDebitt.
Anyone intending on sending flowers or packages to their loved one should make arrangements by Thursday or sooner, said Joseph. She expects that the shop will be extremely busy Friday, and getting the flowers to one’s significant other during the week means they can enjoy them on their desk at work for a few days.
Joseph also expects one of her other businesses that she co-owns, The Wedding Gallery, to bring in a good deal of business this time of the year.
“There’s a couple of big pushes for engagement. One of them is Valentine’s Day,” Joseph said.
She said this shop has been preparing with dresses for one of the biggest days for engagement of the year.
Limner Press, an invitation and card shop almost kitty-corner from The Wedding Gallery, will be banking on Valentine’s Day engagements, too. The shop specializes in save-the-date cards and wedding invitations but also offers Valentine’s Day cards and some small gifts.
But owner Wendy Shaft doesn’t need to do her own publicity for the big day.
“There’s a lot of wedding businesses here so what happens is I get referrals from the other businesses here in town,” said Shaft. “And Valentine’s Day is very visible so I don’t have to do too much advertising because Hallmark does it for me.”