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Sweets for the sweetie: Chocolate still rules hearts on Valentines Day

Consider this a reminder. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.

So what do you do at the last minute? For many people, there's the traditional answer: chocolates.

"We put on extra staff every holiday and Valentine's Day is our biggest day of the year," said Cindy Grindall, manager at Levaggi's Candies in South Weymouth.

Most of the company's Valentine's Day customers are men and most of them wait until the last minute to buy candy for their sweethearts, Grindall said.

Caramel is the big seller for Valentine's Day this year, she said.

Judy McCarthy, owner of Hilliards House of Candy, which is based in Easton and also has stores in Hanover and Canton, said Valentine's Day is right up there with Christmas and Easter when it comes to candy sales.

"Business is steady," she said. "Valentine's Day is such a tradition and you need chocolate to go with it."

Hilliards is a tradition itself. McCarthy's grandparents, Perley and Jessie Hilliard, opened a candy store in the Wollaston section of Quincy in 1924.

These days, Hilliards makes most of its chocolates and other candies in Easton.

In Quincy, Fudge Bar owner Sandra Clement said extra help is always needed when Valentine's Day rolls around.

"It's a last-minute holiday," Clement said. "People want to have fudge that is the freshest."

Fudge is made fresh daily at its Quincy Center shop.

Clement said chocolate continues to be the favorite among customers for Valentine's Day. "People will buy five times the chocolate and more," she said. "They are chocolate fanatics."

Like everything else, chocolates are not getting cheaper. Figure $30 a pound this year, or a couple of dollars either way, for a pound of candy-shop chocolates in a heart-shaped box.

Source: The Patriot Ledger

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