Valentine's Day gift ideas
Love is filling the air of the chocolate and cake shops all around Winter Park as Feb. 14 quickly approaches. With their sales floor decorated from front to back with plastic red hearts and all things love, these stores are ready for their busiest day of the year, Valentine’s Day. How could you resist the temptation of hand-dipped strawberries, edible chocolate boxes and the ability to customize your own treats? Keep your money local this year and satisfy your sweetheart’s sweet tooth by visiting one of the many dessert shops Winter Park has to offer:
Sassafras Sweet Shoppe
Located at 115 E. Morse Blvd., Sassafras is a vintage candy store, specializing in candy and toys from different decades. All ages will enjoy the fun, colorful environment that Sassafras provides.
Their Valentine’s Day assortment is out and ready to be devoured, including lollipop letters, chocolate-covered Rice Krispies Treats, Angell and Phelps chocolates and more. Sweet! cupcakes are available over the weekends, being delivered from the Waterford Lakes shop.
This new addition to Winter Park welcomes everyone to celebrate their grand opening on Saturday, Feb. 5 with free cotton candy, face painting and ribbon cutting. “The store is just an experience to come into. You don’t see these types of candy stores anymore,” manager Ashley DiMaria said.
Another storefront anticipating the big day is Peterbrooke Chocolatier with their best selling chocolate-covered strawberries. But something new they’re offering this year is chocolate-covered bacon, targeting males. “If you have a special guy in your life and you think chocolates need to be guyed-up a little bit, that’s a lot of fun,” chocolatier Colleen Price said.
Available in milk and dark chocolate, the bacon is sold for $2.25 a piece and has already proven to be a huge seller this season. All chocolate is handmade in the back of the store and can be custom ordered as well. Gift baskets range from $10.50 to $75 and the traditional heart-shaped chocolate boxes vary in sizes and range from $6 to $75. Peterbrooke is located at 300 S. Park Ave.
Sprinkles Custom Cakes
For those interested in a less traditional treat, Sprinkles Custom Cakes, 501 W. Fairbanks Ave., offers custom made cakes and cupcakes this Valentine’s Day. Owner Larry Bach is proud to announce one of his newest creations, the Cake Shooter, sold for $3. Similar to the Push Pop, Cake Shooters are a fun, easy and mess-free way to enjoy a piece of cake, he said. “It’s a way to eat cake while you’re walking or standing without a fork, spoon, napkin or plate.”
In the last year, Sprinkles Custom Cakes has began baking vegan and gluten-free desserts, catering to customers with special dietary needs. Depending on the icing design, cupcakes vary from $2.50 to $3.50.
Schakolad Chocolate Factory
Schakolad is known for its in-store, handmade European-style truffles. At its new location in the Whole Foods Plaza, 1961 Aloma Ave., Schakolad allows you to custom select and build a box filled with your favorite chocolates.
Joe Mazza, the Winter Park storeowner, said, “One of our most unique gifts that we sell a lot of is our chocolate
heart boxes. The whole box, top and bottom, is made out of chocolate.” Depending on the size, this gift ranges from $15 to $60. Aside from the edible box, customers can also purchase a sweetheart basket sprinkled with foil heart decor and filled with chocolate handcuffs and body paint.
Over at Kilwin’s, they offer specialty fudges where you buy two and get one free. Manager Mark O’Brien said “One of the best sellers for Valentine’s Day for us is our double dark chocolate fudge because it does go well with red wines.” And of course, they offer the Valentine’s Day favorite, chocolate-covered strawberries. Kilwin’s is located at 122 N. Park Ave.
“We offer a lot of different items such as the chocolate-dipped marshmallow and cookies, things that really help with giving something different for Valentine’s versus the regular chocolate you’d buy at a megastore,” O’Brien said.