Show love, buy local

This year, Americans are expected to buy 58 million pounds of chocolate and close to 200 million roses for Valentine’s Day. Americans spend upwards of $17 billion dollars to woo their special someone. They are left to choose between the convenience of online mega-markets for anything from flowers to toys, and the uniqueness and personality offered by local businesses. The town of Oswego offers an eclectic range of Valentine’s goodies ranging from the mouth-watering or wallet-friendly to the awe-inspiring.

For that special person who simply must have a dozen red roses, you should head to one of two unique florists in Oswego. Cali’s Carriage House Florist offers a wide array of bouquets for anyone’s price range. For 43 years now, Michael Cali has focused on providing the highest quality flowers possible with honest prices.

“We always pride ourselves in the fact that our flowers last,” Cali said.

He further explained that focusing on creating package deals might end up sacrificing the quality of his products, so he custom designs all orders and offers an unconditional 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

The other flower shop in town is Flowers by Maida’s and Mr. John’s. This cozy shop is located in the back lot of Canal Commons. They are offering a number of specials this Valentine’s Day, which range from Cupid’s Garden to The Works of Love. Maida’s central location also makes it an ideal one-stop-shopping experience if one wants to pick up wine from Andrew’s Wine Cellar, jewelry from Midnight Sun or to have a romantic dinner at any of the restaurants in or near Canal Commons.

Of course if your loved one desires chocolate, you can find it at Man in the Moon Candies, also located in Canal Commons. They’ve created a number of delectable treats that your Valentine will be sure to enjoy this year, including chocolate roses and chocolate high-heeled shoes. They also offer packages of treats that feature chocolate covered strawberries as well as both chocolate and real roses. Amy Lear, the owner of Man in the Moon Candies, recommended that you order your chocolate strawberries in advance to be sure you’ll have them in time.

“I like to say we provide an exceptional quality product at a reasonable price,” Lear explained.

The packages range from $10.95 for a small box, to $35.95 for a dozen long-stem strawberries with a real rose. She also pointed out “men like candy too,” so ladies are encouraged to stop by for some savory confections.

But if you are looking for a more personal experience this Valentine’s Day, let a professional help you design a romantic dinner with your sweetheart at Taste the World, also in Canal Commons. Although this establishment is probably best known for their freshly-ground coffee, Anne Backer, the owner of Taste the World, explained the unique concept that she is proposing this Valentine’s Day.

“Instead of taking your Valentine out to a very crowded restaurant, where they might end up with poor service and overpriced food, [you] can plan a romantic evening at home,” she said. “[You] can come into Taste the World, where I will help you choose food items to put together in a basket, and you can take it home to prepare for your Valentine.”

While many may find it easier to order something off the Internet, it can be more special to work with a knowledgeable person to design the perfect gift. Whether you are looking for a traditional bouquet and a box of chocolates or something slightly more unorthodox, the town of Oswego is a gold mine for unique gifts of love.

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