Telluride Truffle

Kendall Jones of Telluride Truffle arranges Valentine’s Day treats Tuesday morning. (Photo by Justin Criado/Telluride Daily Planet)

Love might be free, but maintaining a loving relationship certainly isn’t, especially on Valentine’s Day. Cupid’s annual holiday is synonymous with gift giving, and that typically means exchanging a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers over a nice dinner.

Valentine’s Day is Black Friday for florists. Ashley Deppen, owner of Nested, knows this. Opening less than a year ago in the back of Apotheca Integrative Pharmacy, the 250-square-foot space is going to be overflowing with flowers this week.  

“They say that Valentine’s Day is the busiest day of the year for a florist. Our phone is ringing off the hook,” she said. “Honestly, I don’t even know where all the flowers are going to go. It’s going to be beautiful.”

She finished all preorders last week, but expects today (Wednesday) and Thursday to be the busiest time. She said roses are still the most popular Valentine’s Day flower. While she always has roses in stock, she ordered 500 for this week, adding she typically sells 150 roses a week any other time of the year.

“I still think that most men are traditional,” she said. “I think everyone wants a rose on Valentine’s Day.”

A bouquet of a dozen red roses with greens wrapped in paper is $84, but you can buy by the rose, too. Deppen explained roses are typically $4 a piece, but for Valentine’s Day they’re a little more. Lovebirds can also saunter into her shop full of fresh flowers and customize a bouquet.

“Flowers are meant to make people happy. I recently read that flowers are sunshine for your soul,” she said. “I try to make as many people happy as I can.”

Like flowers, chocolates are “magical,” Telluride Truffle owner Patty Denny said.

“I really do believe there’s something magic about chocolate. People are passionate about it, and it’s fun,” she said.

Chocolate is considered an aphrodisiac. It contains an endorphin called phenylethylamine, a compound found in the brain that’s been linked to falling in love. So, yeah, pretty magical stuff.

Denny, who’s been selling such seductive treats for 22 years, is doing her part in spreading the love, as she shipped 162 orders out last week. While that’s a healthy shot in the arm for business, she explained a majority of the sales will be walk-ins this week. She joked it’s mostly men who procrastinate.

“I really did not realize how cute guys are about picking up Valentine’s gifts for their girlfriends or wives,” she said. “They’re very specific. They’re darling.”

A table with heart-shaped boxes is currently the centerpiece of the store. The new sweets include chocolate-covered Oreos emblazoned with the word “Love” — “They’re just darling,” she said — and a variety of Valentine’s Day boxes featuring an assortment of chocolates the shop has become famous for. Prices range from $3 for a chocolate-covered Oreo to $32 for a larger box of chocolates dubbed “Duet Heart.”   

Valentine’s Day is as much green as it is pink and red.

The National Retail Federation predicts consumers will spend $20.7 billion on loved ones this year. That’s a lot. Men plan to spend an average of $339 on their partners, according to a Bankrate survey, while women are expected to spend $64 on their partners, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

The survey also looked at spending habits by region. Western lovers will spend an average of $277.60 on their partner. Bankrate’s Be My Valentine Index (yes, that’s a thing) estimates the cost of an all-out celebration this year will run you $617. That breaks down to $17 for chocolates, $98 for a dozen roses, $350 for 14K white gold diamond earrings and one bottle of champagne ($52), according to the index.