Valentine’s Day keeping Saskatoon businesses busy

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WATCH: Local businesses are preparing for Valentine's Day in Saskatoon alongside the challenges of the pandemic – Feb 10, 2021

Valentine’s Day is creeping up, and many people in Saskatoon have been planning ahead on gifts.

Bill’s House of Flowers first opened in 1962. Owner Jana Elis said it grows every year, but 2020 brought on some unexpected challenges.

Employees and customers have adjusted to changes, like picking up order curbside instead of going inside the store.

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Holidays, like Christmas, are a busy time for the flower shop.

“We couldn’t do as many numbers as we normally do, but it was good. It was profitable and we were able to keep up with the demand that we had,” Ellis said.

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In the weeks ahead of Valentine’s Day, orders started to pick up again. Ellis said most years, people are scrambling to get gifts for their loved ones at the last minute. With less going on during the pandemic, more people have been planning and ordering ahead.

“If we know what they want, it’s easier for us to order the flowers and easier for us to get started on everything. If they call us early it sure is helpful,” Elis said.

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River Layne Chocolate Couture owner Faye Moffatt has also noticed people ordering Valentine’s Day chocolates early this year.

When operations came to a halt last spring, things were looking uncertain. However, sales boomed during the holidays. Easter and Christmas were both busier in 2020 than they were in previous years.

“People from the community and from the province came out and really supported their local businesses and it saved us,” Moffatt said.

She adds the holidays seem to have been very important for people this past year.

“I think people are taking the time to celebrate the holidays a little bit more with the people closest to them,” Moffatt said.

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Read more: More than 200K small businesses could close permanently amid pandemic: CFIB

People are also getting creative with gifts this year.

Midnight Masks Co. opened in March, trying to met demands when there was a shortage of masks. Sales slowed since the spring, but the company has had things pick up during the holidays. Their themed masks have been a hit.

“Christmas was huge. People loved to give them as stocking stuffers and so it kind of dipped down a little bit after that, but with Valentine’s Day it’s picking back up again,” co-owner Kyle Bober said.

“I think it’s a way of showing you care because you are invested in the well-being of others,” Bober said.

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