Central Albertans are still thinking inside the chocolate box for Valentine’s Day.
But Sandra Suazo, owner of Corazon Chocolates, said her customers are looking for customized, high-quality chocolates.
“This is not a sugar product, it’s a cocoa product,” said the Red Deer entrepreneur.
She said some people want reduced-sugar choices, others insist on organic chocolate. Flavours such as blueberry infusion and salted caramel are popular requests, and customers want chocolates to look unique.
She said her grandmother was her inspiration, so she named her company Corazon, which means heart in Spanish.
“I used to ask grandma why everything that she made tasted so yummy. She said, ‘because I make it with my heart, sweetie,’” Suazo said.
Tracy Irwin, owner of Sugar by Tracy in Penhold, said her bakery always prepares valentine specials. This year’s menu includes a pair of lover’s cupcakes with gold-leaf adorned, chocolate-covered strawberries, and more.
“We always have new and upcoming products,” Irwin said.
“Edible cookie dough is always a crazy, popular option, and our cupcakes and French macrons. Those are classic and popular.”
She said Valentine’s Day is always busy and requires more than a week of preparation to stock shelves and prepare pre-ordered desserts.
“We sell out of everything every year. Two or three days before Valentine’s Day is the busiest.”