By Kristen McNerney
During a global pandemic, Valentine’s Day traditions might be compromised if you’re used to big outings in crowded settings.
Thankfully, small businesses in Westchester and Putnam have you covered by bringing a little joy into your home during the season of love and blizzards. And despite the trying economy, bakeries and floral shops have continued to show up for their loyal patrons, no matter the occasion.
If you’re looking for some last-minute Valentine’s Day gift ideas, here are some area businesses to check out:
Love is in the air over at Beascakes Bakery in Armonk.
Owner Nella DeCarlo has everything you can want from do-it-yourself cookie decorating kits to heart-shaped jelly doughnuts. But to ensure both adults and kids are entertained, the Armonk destination is selling breakable hearts, with the adult desserts holding mini liquor bottles inside.
For the kids, candy will be in the middle. Each heart is accompanied with a hammer that provides a satisfying experience for all the senses, DeCarlo noted.
Additionally, the bakery will feature decorative cupcakes, doughnuts, cookies, chocolate-covered strawberries, and cakes, such as chocolate with raspberry filling, red velvet, and yellow with strawberries, with the words “Be Mine” written on it.
And if that doesn’t work, an old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie will melt in your mouth and be gone in seconds.
Brewster Pastry has provided a wide-ranging variety of cookies, pastries, cakes, breads, owner Thierry Danvin’s famous peach cake and all things sugar since it opened in 2007. But this time of the year Danvin, who is trained baker from France, said the chocolate desserts are always a top seller.
The bakery is currently featuring strawberry shortcake, chocolate ganache hearts, chocolate-covered strawberries, decorated cupcakes, and in fitting with a new popular trend, hot cocoa bombs.
Homestyle Desserts Bakery
For over 30 years, Homestyle Desserts has operated in Peekskill serving the masses year-round for every occasion.
This year, manager Leeza Tarrant has aided in creating some special treats for the heart holiday, including Valentine’s Day-themed gift baskets that can comprise of chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate shot glasses, cake popsicles, chocolate covered strawberries and large chocolate hearts.
Other pastries can include chocolate covered Oreos, personalized macaroons, and hot cocoa bombs filled with an array of flavors, such as milk chocolate, white chocolate, Oreo, Nutella, M&M, marble, or sour patch kids.
Alcoholic hot cocoa bombs are also offered.
Customers are encouraged to build their own Valentine’s Day basket by choosing what goes inside. Prices range from $40 to $65, with other fees added based on certain offerings.
All holiday orders are encouraged in advance over the phone or via email. Tarrant said a new online-ordering system will be launching soon but added that customers can still come in-person to place orders or enjoy a cappuccino, bagel, or mini-quiche.
Hayfields Café & Florist
For those who are looking for a last-minute bouquet for a loved one or to show gratitude for a neighbor, visit London-trained florist Amy Parr Climi’s flower bar at Hayfields Café & Florist in North Salem.
The business operates dually as a café and florist and sells other gift-like items, such as candles and soaps. The aesthetic experience inside and out is created by Climi’s artistic abilities and is full of varying colors for all styles. Climi sources flowers both locally and overseas.
She has pre-made bouquets for Valentine’s Day and an array of flowers to pick from to build your own.
This year’s Valentine’s Day flowers offer a blend of tones, like shades of pink, white, purple, and orange, instead of focusing on the classic red. Orchids have been a popular option, she said, as well as roses, that are also offered in shades of caramel and matcha.