There's a lot of chocolate money in this city
—Constance Popp, chocolatier
Long stemmed roses and bright, colourful bouquets are always popular
choices, but Winnipeg florists aren't the only ones wrapping up gifts
for last minute Valentine's Day shoppers.
"It's our busiest time of the year," says Constance Popp, owner of two chocolate boutiques in Winnipeg. "I love the rush of it."
Chocolatier Constance Popp's boutique stocks love-themed, house-made artisan chocolates. (Robin Summerfield)
Great sales aside, Popp is an unabashed lover of the season and pours her affection into a signature line of Valentine's Day chocolates. Her 'relationship' heart-shaped box includes house-made chocolates called "puppy love", "the mistress", "drowning in sorrow", "l'amour" and "love potion #9". Each chocolate playfully reveals the arc of a romantic relationship--the good, the bad and the jilted.
Ingredients like vodka-soaked blueberries, all-spice and Jamaican rum, Amaretto-drenched raspberries and saffron-kissed passionfruit all flirt with Belgian chocolate, sea-salted caramel, ganache and other cocoa confections. Her "super macho manly" men's lines include Belgian chocolate cigars and beer-infused and pretzel-and-bacon-adorned truffles made with locally brewed Half Pints ale.
This time of year, Popp also sells a lot of chocolates to corporate events, teachers, co-workers and business owners who want to show their platonic admiration. "There's a lot of chocolate money in this city," Popp says. "We are phenomenally busy."
Valentine's Day is a busy time for Winnipeg chocolate king Fred Morden of Mordens' chocolates. (Robin Summerfield)
At Mordens' of Winnipeg, the average Valentine's Day purchase hits $40 per person and Valentine's Day is one of their busiest days of the year, says owner Fred Morden.
Local chocolate fiends are sweet on the shop's signature Valentine's Day chocolates which range from 50-cent hearts to a $250 heart-shaped box loaded with dozens of house-made chocolates.
This year, Morden has added heart-shaped chocolate boxes loaded with white-chocolate dipped strawberries to the holiday specialties.
The store sells approximately 5,000 boxes of chocolates during the season d'amour, Morden says. "We get the true chocoholics in Manitoba."
If romantic cookies are more your style, Dessert Sinsations
has you covered.
Have you bought your roses
yet? See why you might be paying a little extra.