This week on Focal Point, we’re live from a local flower shop to see how people are sharing the love on Valentine’s Day. Over the weekend, the Lansing Women’s Expo celebrated 20 years with more than 300 attendees. The Lansing Pup House celebrates Valentine’s Day with their pets during speed dating for dogs. In entertainment, the 92nd Oscar’s had a lot of firsts and Justin Bieber returns from a four-year hiatus with a new album.
Megan Merriman watches people grab cards every day as she sits behind the pharmacy counter. She says getting a card is “tradition” but in today’s age a lot more is needed for this special day. As children, getting a card and a piece of candy on this day was all that was needed, and that concept remains the same but at a much higher price. When couples think of this day, they do not think about chocolate and flowers, they think about the dollar signs. Giving your loved one only a card and some candy doesn’t cut it anymore.
Michigan’s cold temperatures and blistering winds are impacting more than just college students’ commute to classes this winter. Classified by the store’s owner Beth Herendeen as the “Modern Day General Store,” DeWitt’s own Twiggies saw a decline in business this Valentine’s Day. Normally a bustling day of business for the floral and retail design shop, Herendeen saw the timing of this February 14 inhibited many potential buyers from making use of Twiggies services. Along with the holiday falling on a weekend, frigid temperatures made selling flowers hard. “Numbers were down quite a bit from last year,” said Herendeen.
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.
A new bill proposed may give unpaid interns in Michigan the same protections as other paid employees. MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon gave her annual State of the University address, giving some students reason to speak out against the administration. And, a suspect has been arrested in connection to the death of MSU student Dominique Nolff. Focal Point is an Emmy awarding winning, student produced newscast from the School of Journalism at Michigan State University.
By Kasey Worst
Old Town Lansing Times staff writer
OLD TOWN LANSING – Special promotions around Valentine’s Day helped to bring new business to Old Town. The Chocolate Walk
Louise Gradwohl, executive director of the Old Town Commercial Association, said a new event called the Chocolate Walk brought a new group of people to Old Town the Wednesday before Valentine’s Day. Gradwohl said participants bought tickets and exchanged them for a punch card and a box for chocolates from the Old Town Commercial Association. They took these boxes to 18 different places in Old Town and collected a chocolate from each one. Gradwohl said the OTCA had intended to sell 175 tickets to the event.
As love is in the air, three Mason restaurants prepare for Valentine’s Day with drink specials, candy and special reservations this Friday. The Vault Delicatessen, a family owned independent business, offers special wine orders, candy and gift cards. Along with daily popular items like the Three Cheese Semolina bread, the deli also contains various wines, including several Michigan products. Mason resident and employee Sarah Thompson said the busiest time for business is usually during lunch.This year the deli is also selling new types of wine for the holiday, including one titled 50 Shades of Grey. “We’ve got Mason Blue too.
Whether it’s a small town flower shop, or a statewide recognized store, the florists of St. Johns did all they could to make Valentine’s Day special for the community. Wayne Woodbury, the owner of Woodbury’s Flower Shop, said how important Valentine’s Day is to his shop as well as most other flower shops in the country. “A typical Valentine’s Day is like doing a good month in two days,” Woodbury said. “It’s hard to imagine, but that’s just how busy we are.”
Love is in the air and Lansing Township businesses are reaping benefits. James Erevia, general manager of Bravo! Cucine Itailana, said he’s excited that Valentine’s Day is on a Thursday. Erevia said there will be an increase in sales all around, especially on appetizers, desserts and wine or cocktails. Based on previous years, Erevia said two people will spend more on Valentine’s Day than four people would spend on an average Thursday.