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George Branchaud picks out the perfect Valentine's Day bouquet Monday afternoon at KD Floral and Gardens in Bemidji. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

It's go time for Valentine's Day shoppers

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

An all-yellow bouquet of flowers is expected to be delivered to a woman today - a hint from her husband she will get her yellow kitchen this year.

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This is one of roughly 500 Valentine's Day flower deliveries KD Floral and Gardens will handle today, said owner Raechel Schwarze, who also expects as many customers to walk into the store.

The store's phone was ringing nonstop Monday with customers placing orders.

"We order around 1,500 roses for Valentine's Day and by the end they are almost all gone," she said.

With so many orders to fill, employees typically do not remember what messages are written on cards, Schwarze said, but she remembered one customer had asked her to write, "My house is a heart and the front door has your name on it."

"That was pretty cute," she said.

At Netzer's Bemidji Floral, owner Jill Bitker said more than double the number of employees are needed on Valentine's Day.

"It takes a huge team to get everything out," she said. "We can do the equivalent of three weeks' worth of deliveries in one day," she said.

Bitker said red roses have traditionally been the most popular flower choice, but this year she said employees have gotten unique requests.

"We've had orders for things you don't see in Minnesota this time of year like lots of beautiful orchids," Bitker said. "It's definitely different from what we've been experiencing."

As of Monday afternoon, Bitker had not heard of anyone preparing to get engaged, but she said Valentine's Day can be a day for impulsive shoppers.

"Last year someone walked into the store and wanted us to tie a ring to a rose and work it into the design of a bouquet," she said.

She recalled a customer once placed an order for 11 fresh red roses and one silk rose. The card read, "I'll love you until the last rose dies."

A couple planning to get married today placed an order for flowers last Saturday, Bitker said.

"They weren't going to get flowers, but their mom said they needed flowers for their wedding day," she added.

Janel Hart, owner of Chocolate's Plus in Bemidji, said today is usually one of store's the busiest days.

She and her staff expect to sell thousands of truffles and dozens of carmelitas, which are candies made of nuts, caramel and chocolate. The business makes around 20 different varieties of truffles.

Two of the most interesting Valentine's Day gifts customers she remembers being ordered were an engagement ring being placed inside chocolate and chocolate pecan clusters being formed to look like roses.

She said she anticipates the store's edible boxes made of chocolate with truffles inside will also be a popular gift idea this year.

Ray Sweeney, co-owner of Raphael's Bakery, said he expects cookies, Valentine's Day party trays, miniature heart cakes and cupcakes to fly out the door today.

"We try to keep as much on hand as possible," he said.

Sweeney said he received an interesting request from a man this year who, instead of ordering flowers, asked a box of rolls and donuts be delivered to his wife's office this morning.

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