A COVID Valentine’s Day
As Valentine’s Day rolls around, many people are probably wondering how they can get stuck by Cupid’s arrow without being struck by the COVID’s flail.
Around Edmond, businesses know this — especially those venues offering such sought-after Valentine staples as treats, cards, flowers, and fine dining.
Here’s a look at a few of these businesses and what they have to offer for their love-struck patrons.
Treats — Dolci Paradiso
On Valentine’s Day, locally-owned Dolci Paradiso in Edmond will offer both its usual fare and holiday favorites as rose bouquets, strawberries, and other Valentine goodies, according to store manager Savana Duran.
Given the coronavirus pandemic, though, the gelato and pastry shop, located in Park 17 on the corner of 5th and Littler, is providing curbside service.
“We always encourage people they can just stay in their car,” said Duran, saying they offer to-go options for everything they sell. “All of our desserts can be packaged to go as well as our gelatos.”
Dolci Paradiso opened in September as an expansion from the original location on South May Avenue. in Oklahoma City. Though having begun operations during the coronavirus pandemic, the Edmond store has seen quite a bit of business, especially with patrons purchasing gelatos to-go, according to Duran.
“We’ve seen a really positive response from everybody, and I have already got so many regulars that I see come back every day.”
She said Valentine’s season is typically one of their busiest holidays. So far, this year’s outlook is very positive, with orders coming in the second week of January.
“We’re really stocking up for that day and we expect to be really busy.”
Cards — J’s Hallmark Shop
Just like Cupid, candy, and kisses, cards are a beloved staple of Valentine’s Day.
With Hallmark being nearly synonymous with holidays and cards, J’s Hallmark Shop at Danforth and Kelly in Edmond expects lots of business, even with COVID still hanging around.
Much like any other store these days, J’s Hallmark has installed plexiglass dividers at its registers, regularly sanitizes cash registers and credit card machines, and offers curbside service, according to store manager Kristi Henderson.
Also in place is a limit on how many people can be in the store at a time. With this store being larger than many other Hallmark stores, J’s Hallmark can host between 15 and 20 people at a time as opposed to the usual 10 to 15, said Henderson.
She said patrons not wanting to enter the store can also order items through the website, which has seen much more activity since the pandemic.
Though known for their cards, J’s Hallmark offers candy, stuffed animals, and other gifts as well for Valentine’s Day.
“We have candles, and we also have what’s popular now is hot chocolate bombs. It looks like a cupcake and you put it in your in your warm milk and it makes hot chocolate,” Henderson said.
Flowers — Madeline’s Flower Shop
There’s no denying the power of the flower, rose, or a bouquet when it comes to showing love and appreciation, especially on Valentine’s Day.
According to Barbara Bilke, part-owner of Madeline’s Flower Shop in Edmond, after nearly 70 years in business, the coronavirus won’t stop her from helping people show that love this Valentine’s Day.
“It’s going to be contactless delivery available for curbside pickup if somebody elects for that,” said Bilke, describing measures the family-owned operation has taken to ensure the safety of its patrons. “Or people can come inside. We have plexiglass. We also have markings on the floor that they need to stand so far back.”
Through many challenges throughout the pandemic — the mandatory spring shop closure, flower farm shutdowns, and the resulting supply shortages and reduced store traffic — Bilke said they’re fortunate they are still open.
“We’re lucky we’re still here. We still have customers. We’ve just had to maneuver to roll with what’s going to happen.”
Bilke said the shop hasn’t had to limit the number of people entering the store as crowding is not an issue, but they have a slow, steady stream of customers.
“Holiday times are different. So we’re trying to work that out because (Valentine’s Day) is one of the biggest holidays for us and so that makes a lot of people want to be at the same place at the same time to order their flowers, so we’re trying to get to what will work for people to keep everyone safe so we can service them.”
In addition to the flowers, roses, plants, and arrangements people can purchase, she said that candies and candles are also available.
People can order by phone, online (https://www.madelinesflowershopedmond.com), or in-person at the store.
Dinner — Signature Grill
A cozy romantic dinner with the one you love is often a must for many on Valentine’s Day.
Independently owned and operated Signature Grill, on the corner of Bryant and Danforth in Edmond, bills itself on its website as “an upscale fine-dining restaurant with an intimate atmosphere.”
Apparently, the establishment is the place to be on Valentine’s Day as the venue is already fully booked for the day, according to owner Clay Falkner.
Part of this is due to the coronavirus, as now the restaurant only seats eight tables compared to its pre-COVID 15, thanks to social distancing measures. But it’s also because of a strong customer base.
“We have reservations from people from last year that made reservations,” said Falkner, explaining how many of his patrons have remained steady customers even through last year’s many challenges. “We were basically locked down for to-go orders only for that two weeks or whatever, and they’ve been really supportive.”
Falkner said his restaurant at this time will not be offering a special Valentine’s Day menu but will be working off its usual offerings.
While Signature Grill usually does take and complete to-go orders, Falkner said the main focus on Valentine’s would be on those dining at their location.
While Valentine’s Day will certainly be different this year, Edmond businesses are eager to deliver the essentials and help make this day of love a day to remember.
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About Thomas Berger
Thomas Berger is the owner of Ciskus Creative, an Edmond-based creative agency focused on creating marketing content for small and medium-sized businesses.
Prior to starting his own company, he worked as the communications/marketing specialist for an Oklahoma City-based office technology company. Former to coming to the Oklahoma City area, he had worked as a career journalist for more than a decade — initially reporting for several newspapers in western North Carolina and northeastern Oklahoma and later as a multimedia journalist for KJRH Channel 2 in Tulsa.
Thomas has lived in Edmond with his wife Alison since 2013. He has a passion for traveling, photography, learning languages, landscaping and coffee roasting. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Western Carolina University.