Day can mean sweet reward for
during holiday rival Easter season
February 12, 2010, 10:05 pm
February 13, 2010, 7:01 am
chocolate be the
food of love, eat up!
forms of chocolate are among the most commonly
given gifts on Valentine’s Day, the holiday of romance. A
of Buffalo-area chocolatiers reported a brisk business over the last
expect an even larger crush today
as last-minute gift-givers (read: men) rush in to buy boxes of sweets
sweeties before Sunday’s holiday.
a very short,
chaotic three days,” said Ted Marks, who has owned the 100-year-old
for the last 15 years. He estimates that the
Valentine’s Day traffic amounts to some 20 percent of Fowler’s annual
really a good shot
in the arm for the business,” agreed Tom Margarucci, owner of the Bella
on Buffalo’s Hertel Avenue.
Because his store carries many different kinds of candy, not just
Valentine’s Day can come a close second to Easter as his busiest
shopping season, which used to begin at Thanksgiving and now seems to
right after Halloween,
Valentine’s Day creates a
short, intense blitz of buying. Because
falls on a Sunday this year, some stores that are normally closed on
will remain open for the last-minute treat shoppers that chocolatiers
every reason to expect.
of chocolate, which begins with the ancient Aztecs, promotes it as not
food of the gods but as a pleasantly
mood-altering, if not downright aphrodisiac, treat.
our Web site, we
promote it,” Margarucci said about the romantic angle of chocolate. “In
the store, it’s
more word of mouth.”
chocolate an aphrodisiac is a claim he won’t make — or deny. But, he
chocolate clearly does have an effect on the brain’s pleasure centers,
endorphins and raising moods.
has such a
complicated and complex chemical composition,” Marks said. “It’s
difficult to replicate.
Which is why guys like me
are still in business.”
guys who buy, said
Choco-Logo owner Dan Johnson, may receive a somewhat different reward
if they remember
to bring home a box of chocolate for their wives.
can guarantee them control of the remote control for
the weekend,” he said.
chocolate especially has been increasing in popularity
in recent years, the chocolate makers say, because of scientific
evidence that it contains healthful compounds
such as antioxidants and flavanoids. Taken in moderation, they
say, dark chocolate can have the same positive
effect on the heart and arteries as can red wine. In moderation,
part of the idea
behind today’s The Perfect Pair celebrations at Choco-Logo on Broadway
leads the sessions, a
fundraiser for the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, in the exploration of
with wine. Moderation
is also the key to the constant popularity of
chocolate, especially for holidays.
tends to be
recession proof,” said Mike Smith, manager of the Watson’s Chocolate
store on Elmwood
Avenue. “It’s inexpensive, and it makes people
agreed, saying that
fine chocolate has always been something reserved for special
reasons of cost as well as concerns about health. Those special days
still come, he
said, and the chocolate still flies out the
here to provide
something that’s a real special treat,” Marks said. “No one’s buying a
of the chocolate
purveyors has a specialty. Fowler’s offers Buffalo Oreos — Oreo cookies
in chocolate and stamped with the image of a buffalo — along with
and caramel varieties.
said the cherry bark is a big hit this year, as is the store’s
singing balloon. It sings
chocolate-covered bacon — clusters
and bites — as well as cinnamon and sesame
flavored treats. Watson’s
is doing a big business with its traditional
Valentine’s fare, chocolate hearts with the name of a loved one
written in icing. One customer
ordered 17 of them.
all of the chocolate meisters agreed that Buffalo
chocolate customers never abandon their old favorite. “No
matter what we
introduce, no matter what we try to do,” Marks said, “nothing does