To relieve your stress, or for a quick pick-me-up, stop by and chat with the friendly store owners of , What's For Dessert?, or Desserts by Design. These are colorful shops filled with heavenly aromas. Friendly, personalized service and high-quality unique products are the themes running through all of these family-owned stores.
After celebrating 38 years at Richboro Shopping Plaza, Fireside Flowers owner Alan Kiryluk reveals his formula for success.
"We offer personalized service and enjoy talking with our customers to find out their needs, and we educate them about our variety of gift selections," Kiryluk said.
From the minute you walk into the shop, you can tell that each floral display was created with tender-loving-care. Everything is artfully arranged throughout the store. The more you look around, the more you notice, such as the non-floral items. Kiryluk makes shopping easy for his customers by offering fine chocolates and jewelry as well—all from family-owned businesses like his.
"Intuition" roses are one of the many floral offerings this Valentine's Day at Fireside Flowers. These special bi-colored novelty roses, in either red or pink, feature splashes of light and dark tones.
Last Thursday afternoon, a customer named Ben was purchasing a corsage for his daughter Sarah, for the Churchville Elementary School Father/Daughter dance, held last Friday night. The delicate wristlet held three mini-carnations and a butterfly. Thoughtful husband Ben also purchased earrings for his wife as a Valentine's present.
"I was thoroughly impressed with the speedy service and the variety of floral arrangements and other items such as the jewelry," he said.
Desserts by Design, just half a mile south of Fireside Flowers in the Richboro Center strip mall next to the Richboro post office, sells owner Doris Witty's delectable butter cakes. Only early birds will catch these goodies made of sweet dough and butter filling, which usually sell out by mid-afternoon.
Doris' special Valentine offerings include a variety of cookies as well as mini heart-shaped cakes such as red velvet with cream cheese frosting, funfetti, chocolate-mint, fresh strawberry shortcake and cherry and strawberry cheesecakes.
"Death-by-chocolate is one of the most popular cakes," Witty said.
With chocolate fudge filling inside, this chocolate cake is topped with chocolate ganache that contains heavy cream and chocolate and chocolate shavings.
Regular customer Donna Munizza Shields of Churchville stopped by for a mid-afternoon chocolate fix: a chocolate, chocolate chip muffin, a chocolate chip Danish, and a chocolate cheese square, hoping to ease her stressful last few weeks.
"I needed some chocolate to uplift my mood; I'm in the third week of a bathroom remodeling project...I had no electricity for three days. Doris' chocolate goodies always make me feel better," she said. She did promise to share some with her contractors.
Northamptonites in-the-know are well-aware that Doris' famous "Chinese" cookies sell out every day. These whopping 10-ounce cookies, six inches wide by a half inch thick, feature vanilla dough swirled with chocolate, enrobed with multi-colored sprinkles, and topped off with a dollop of fudge frosting.
Witty offers a daily special: 12-ounce coffee and a danish or donut for $1.75. The bakery business has been part of her life for 27 years, and she has owned her own shop for seven years. Doris lovingly creates cookie and cake specialty items for each holiday, all by scratch with her own recipes.
What's for Dessert?, on Buck Road in Holland, is celebrating its 24th year in business. Last week, a steady stream of customers were placing Valentine's orders or getting an afternoon sweet fix. Kindergartener Georgia was getting a cookie with her mom, who works at the salon next door.
What's for Dessert? is selling Valentine's fortune cookies this year. They are $2.00 each and packaged in a Chinese take-out container. The large cookies, drizzled with chocolate, each bear a Valentine's sentiment inside.
The sayings include quotes from Mother Teresa, Dolly Parton and others, according to owner Patrick Bryson. Other holiday cookie offerings include large Linzer hearts, colorful decorated iced hearts and chocolate-dipped hearts. The shop offers 10 percent off all Valentine's items.
While it may be convenient to stop at the grocery store for gifts and goodies, local businesses often have unique creations shoppers can't find elsewhere and they work diligently to please the customer.