As we enter the season of love, Hanford businesses have embraced the Valentine's Day holiday season with pink and red hearts scattered across multiple storefront displays.
And while more date nights could lead to more reservations for local restaurants, Valentine’s Day would be nothing without a bouquet of red roses and a box of chocolates.
Hanford residents have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to choosing a gift for that special someone.
After experiencing declines in sales over the last two Valentine's Day seasons, Jasmin’s Flowers & Event Decor owner Irra Gonzalez is hopeful shoppers will make a comeback this year.
“We’ve been in the Hanford area for over 13 years … we’re hoping that our community doesn’t forget about us and comes out and supports,” Gonzalez said Thursday. “We have a little bit of everything here, flowers, teddy bears, and chocolates.”
Gonzalez said that the downtown Hanford store, which usually only has six employees, will double its staff to 12 to better assist customers. The shop will not increase its prices for popular holiday items and will offer discounts to customers who order a week in advance, she said.
Other shop owners like Paul Rhodes of Gonsalves-Fasso Flowers, say Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to attract new customers.
“We’ve been here 78 years, this is my personal 22nd year so this will be my 23rd Valentine's Day," Rhodes said. "Through experience, because flowers are perishable products, you are taking a risk … we will get about 7% of our year's gross in one day.”
Rhodes continued, “Valentine's is more about trying to get new customers in your door and retaining them throughout the year, so the next birthday and anniversary the next centerpiece they need or prom flowers they come.”
Unlike other businesses that saw significant revenue decreases during the pandemic, Rhodes said that his flower shop actually saw an increase in sales.
“We’re the biggest shop in town so we do the most business, we found an increase in business because of COVID … people were sending to people who couldn’t leave the house, and there was an influx of business.”
Gonsalves-Fasso Flowers plans on taking on a few more employees to help with the holiday demands, but isn't offering customers any Valentine’s Day deals.
Smaller businesses like Divine Creations in Hanford, which also specialize in Valentine's Day gifts such as flowers and sweets, are also hoping to see an influx of business. Once located in the heart of downtown Hanford, the store recently merged with Sweet Palette Bakery. Together they offer customers a variety of hand bouquets and arrangements as well as classic Valentine’s Day treats.
Bakery owner Jose Sanchez said Valentine’s Day is one of his busiest days of the year.
“We sell a lot of our strawberry pizzas, chocolate-covered strawberries, and sugar and sweet is really popular in demand,” he said.