Harried servers kept up with the flow of customers at the candy counter at Olympia Candy Kitchen on Thursday — the day before Valentine’s Day.
Flanked by cases of red and pink heart-shaped boxes, the display cases of candy were filled with a variety of chocolates, plus red and pink confections with names such as Sour Smooch Lips and Petite Sour Hearts.
By far, fourth-generation employee Kare Andersen said, the biggest Valentine’s Day seller is turtles, followed by chocolate hearts, the old, decorative heart-shaped boxes and chocolate-covered cherries.
“It will be busy today and tomorrow,” he said, but the day before Valentine’s Day is typically the single busiest day of the year.
And it’s just not guys who are last-minute buyers, Andersen pointed out.
Buying candy for her grandsons and husband Thursday was Barbara Payton, of Elkhart. “I drove all the way over just to get this,” she said.
Her favorite treat — turtles. “They are delicious,” Payton said.
Rick Hetler, of Goshen, said his and his family’s favorite treat is the toffee. Olympia is his spot to get his Valentine’s Day sweets for his wife and kids.
For Manuel Arrendondo, of Goshen, turtles are his favorite. He was buying sweets for a friend. He said he would probably pair the gift with some flowers for Valentine’s Day.
Olympia was not the only place in the downtown buzzing with Valentine’s Day customers.
The Nut Shoppe’s co-owner Justin Bell said assorted chocolates are the favorite gift, along with heart-shaped boxes filled with candy.
“The chocolate-covered peanuts — the salty and chocolate — mmm, yum,” said customer Carol Wieland, of Goshen. She bought some for her grandson and just had to have one for herself, she admitted.
Dressed in a Valentine’s Day red coat, Wieland said she loves the holiday. Her oldest daughter was born on Valentine’s Day and it just puts her in the mind to buy chocolates.
Bell said that just for Valentine’s Day, the store has used a half a ton of chocolate.
Christmas is his busiest holiday, with Valentine’s Day coming in second. However, Valentine’s Day is the single busiest day of the year for their business.
And while the store was busy, The Nut Shoppe had a second location set up at Goshen Hospital as a fundraiser for the Goshen Hospital Auxiliary. A portion of the money from sales Thursday and today will go to the auxiliary, he explained.
Some advice from Bell for those wanting purchase chocolate: know what the person you are buying for likes. Even knowing a person’s preference of milk chocolate or dark chocolate is a good start, he said.