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Local stores are sweet for Valentine’s Day shopping

Courtesy of MCT

For Valentine’s Day, chocolate and roses are sure to win anyone’s heart. And you don’t have to travel very far to get quality gifts at a reasonable price if you try a local business.

Le Chocoholique
First stop, the Short North. If you’re looking for a freshly made chocolate after dinner, look no further. Owner Monica Barr is a chocolatier who opened one of the first chocolate shops in Columbus.
These chocolates are locally made on Georgesville Road and at the shop at 601 N. High St. There are 250 varieties of chocolate in the shop, which tends to overwhelm first-timers.
“People take five minutes to stare and read everything,” Barr said. “They’re in awe. I encourage them (by asking,) ‘Hey, what do you like, what are you in the mood for?'”
For Valentine’s Day, there is not a special yet, but there will be plenty of champagne, berries and fondue available. Patrons can place carry out orders.
Prices range from 70 cents for a small truffle to $5 for the biggest piece of chocolate. Barr said the pricing is per piece. If the customer wants to spend a certain amount, she can cater to their needs.
“If someone comes in and says they want a specific price, like $15, we can do it for them. The Valentine’s Day average is closer to $50.”
She said there are qualities her shop has that people will not find elsewhere.
“Most places you can’t have a glass of wine and chocolate,” Barr said.
Le Chocoholique has extended its hours this week to 11 a.m. to midnight.

The Garden (Chamber, Joint)
If chocolate is not your thing and you are scrambling to find a last minute sexy gift, or a gag gift, there is an adult emporium to explore. Located in the Short North, it is convenient for night owls because it closes late.
Operation began in 1997. It strives to have something for everyone, said Brittany Chavana, fashion buyer at The Garden.
“We try to cater to every type of lifestyle,” she said.
The Garden has the most selection of the other two establishments – The Chamber and The Joint. There are a variety of products, including cosmetics, condoms, DVDs, books, magazines, massage oil, lingerie, bondage, stockings, games, gay pride merchandise, costumes, games, cuffs and more.
The business has several Valentine’s Day specials. For any purchase made at The Garden on Feb. 12, the customer receives a free carnation. The Joint will have chocolate available in a candy bowl and costumes are on sale for 70 percent off. At The Chamber, DVDs are $3.99.
Regular prices on single items range from $5 to $100. Chavana said lingerie is on the higher end of that price range. However, if you show a student or military ID, you get 10 percent off your order.
The Garden is located at 1174 N. High St. in the Short North. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m., Sunday from noon. to midnight.

OSU Flowers
University Flower Shop has been operating since 1932, said owner Rick Spangle. They sell a variety of items: flower bouquets, cookies, candy, cupcakes, coffee, OSU sock monkeys, bears, mugs and even blankets.
Same-day delivery is promised to the central Ohio area and beyond.
“We deliver anywhere in central Ohio,” Spangle said. “The delivery charge is $9.95 for any person inside (the 270) beltway … (which is) 95 percent of our deliveries.”
He said delivery to Dublin and beyond is $11.95. Close cities, such as Galloway, Canal Winchester, Delaware, Pickerington and New Albany, incur a $13 charge. He said a standard fee is common among floral delivery services.
As for the items sold in store, prices vary. Flowers range from $30 to $180. They have a special section on the website for flowers that are $30 or less, for those of us who are budget-sensitive.
They have a special for Feb. 12 only. If the customer places the order that day and asks for delivery from Feb. 12 through Feb. 14, they will receive the “Wow factor” upgrade, according to the owner.
“You get more for your money. You pay a cent and choose from a vase, bear or balloon,” he said.
There’s no upgrade for premium dozen roses, however.
In addition, customers can choose from a selection of wines (with a valid ID). It can be delivered with the flowers.
Fruit baskets are available as well, starting at $50 and up.
Spangle said order your flowers sooner rather than later.
“We get close to 300 deliveries on Valentine’s Day for campus (alone),” he said.
University Flower Shop is located at 243 W. 11th Ave. It is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. and Sunday by appointment. There are two other locations in Bexley and downtown.

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