Staff photo by Cole Dittmer
Blue Moon Gift Shops has plenty of ideas for last minute Valentine’s Day shoppers like heart-shaped dishes and measuring cups or heart-shaped treats like Moonkissed Fudge.
With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, some local shops see the heaviest traffic for the holiday at the last minute.
“Usually right before Valentine’s Day we see all the guys coming in last minute,” said Mary Ann Masucci, Blue Moon Gift Shops owner and manager.
With dozens of different vendors offering a variety of gifts, Masucci said Blue Moon is a good stop for those shopping on a deadline.
“We have probably 18 -jewelry vendors here, and there is a lot to choose from,” she said. “For Valentine’s Day people buy everything from a Valentine’s Day dress for their granddaughter’s American Girl Doll to a serving platter to earrings or valentine’s wreaths.”
A couple of items she said were popular in the store for Valentine’s Day include stamped metal jewelry from Jennifer Ford and Mimilu Boutique with many of the pieces inscribed with the phrase, “I love you to the moon and back.”
Other popular choices include valentine’s pieces like heart-shaped dishes and measuring cups, as well as heart-themed metalwork from Wendell August.
As far as sweets, Masucci said Kismet Toffee and Moonkissed Fudge are made exclusively for Blue Moon and come in Valentine’s Day-themed packaging. Other, less conventional, Valentine’s Day gifts for the working mother are pre-made dinners from Ladyfingers Caterers, Masucci said.
Ladyfingers’ wholesale manager Justin Williams said the Raleigh-based company recently moved into Blue Moon to offer its premade dinners like chicken pot pies, chicken enchiladas and vegetarian and meat lasagnas after selling them for 20 years in Raleigh.
“Last year the company changed ownership and we are starting to expand,” Williams said.
“It is all made in our kitchen, and it is already cooked, so you are just basically thawing and reheating.”
Williams said all of the eight Ladyfingers dishes available at Blue Moon are prepared with no preservatives and local produce.
Another local business using locally-sourced materials for easy Valentine’s Day gifts is Fiore Fine Flowers. Fiore manager Chelsea Fritts said the florist is using a local assortment of tulips, irises, Gerber daises and lilies from Castle Hayne Farms for its ready-made bouquets for walk-in customers.
“We always have things premade in our coolers. This year we are doing a bunch of local, mixed bouquets from Castle Hayne Farms. We are going to be offering those in a wrap and bow to serve a lot of walk-ins,” Fritts said. “We are taking a lot of orders for all the early birds. I think last year we were still able to take orders on Valentine’s Day.”
For those looking to purchase valentine’s-appropriate flowers without splurging on roses, Fritts said other red and white flowers are good options as well.
“We do have a lot of people who want something in that Valentine’s Day color scheme of reds and whites but with a variety of flowers. We sell a lot of those,” she said. “Roses are inflated around Valentine’s Day, so if you can get something that is mixed and maybe has a couple roses and some other flowers you can save a little money and still have something pretty and unique.”