Chocolate sweetens the deal for local sweethearts

  • Jillian Selanis, an employee at Richardson's Candy Kitchen in Deerfield, assembles a box of chocolates for a customer Saturday, February 11, 2017. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt—Matt Burkhartt

  • A display of chocolate covered strawberries at Richardson's Candy Kitchen in Deerfield. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt—Matt Burkhartt

  • Chloe Wells, an employee at Richardson’s Candy Kitchen in Deerfield assists a customer Saturday. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Jillian Selanis, an employee at Richardson's Candy Kitchen in Deerfield, assembles a box of chocolates for a customer Saturday, February 11, 2017. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt—Matt Burkhartt

  • Heather Guilbault, an employee at Richardson's Candy Kitchen in Deerfield, assembles a box of chocolates for a customer Saturday, February 11, 2017. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt—Matt Burkhartt

For the Gazette
Published: 2/13/2017 11:30:38 PM

DEERFIELD — Though chocolate as a Valentine’s Day gift was originally a marketing ploy by John Cadbury of the Cadbury chocolate company, the idea spread like wildfire.

Today, local residents can pick up heart-shaped boxes sold by various candy companies, including the local chocolatiers at Richardson’s Candy Kitchen in Deerfield.

“Usually the 13th and 14th are our busiest days of the year,” said Kathie Williams, owner of Richardson’s Candy Kitchen. “You have to prepare a lot just for two days.”

Williams said the shop begins preparing for Valentine’s Day with the start of the new year, adding more staff, extending its hours, and on Feb. 13, even using a police officer to direct traffic from the driveway onto routes 5 and 10.

Local residents bustle in and out of the shop to buy treats for their significant others, children, friends and neighbors.

“Part of it is just buying something sweet for your loved one,” Williams said. “And also, the time of year. It’s February, it’s cold, and chocolate cheers you up.”

Customers of the shop shared how getting chocolate each Valentine’s Day is something their loved ones look forward to as a special, tasty treat.

“It’s sweets for your sweetheart,” said Janice Katsoulis of Turners Falls, who went to Richardson’s Saturday morning to buy sweets for her grandchildren. “It goes together, always … And it’s a legitimate reason to have chocolate … You don’t have to feel guilty.”

Some local sweethearts have carried on the chocolate-giving tradition for decades. Tim Healey of West Hartford, Conn., drove up to South Deerfield to help his 94-year-old father-in-law. Due to mobility issues, Healey said his father-in-law would have a hard time getting to Richardson’s Candy Kitchen to buy sweets for his wife. “I’m happy to be his legs so he can take care of his bride,” Healey said, with a bag of chocolates in hand.


http://www.history.com/news/hungry-history/celebrating-valentines-day-with-a-box-of-chocolates


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