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(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Valentine's Day gifts. Photo illustration by Francisco Kjolseth
Finding romantic Valentine’s Day gift can be difficult
Thorny dilemma » For some, chocolates and flowers miss the mark; perhaps a Kama Sutra sock puppet or crossbow-wielding zombie killer will hit the heart.
First Published Feb 11 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Feb 11 2014 12:23 pm

Few holidays put quite as much pressure on husbands, wives and significant others to come up with the perfect gift as Valentine’s Day.

Friday’s holiday obviously provides big business for florists, candy stores, gift shops and jewelers. Reservations can often be difficult to obtain at restaurants. Some hotels offer packages. Couples planning ahead might even book a suite in Wendover with a jacuzzi tub.

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But finding something unique, interesting, romantic, thoughtful and perhaps slightly naughty certainly proves a challenge for many.

A survey of Utah-owned businesses provided some helpful suggestions as to what might be available or popular as Valentine’s Day approaches.

"Valentine’s shoppers are impulse buyers," said Claire Heman of Cabin Fever in Trolley Square. "We expect our Valentine’s Day stuff to start flying off shelves [this] week."

Traditional » Many men will opt for traditional flowers or chocolates. They have many choices in Utah.

Marion Cummings of Salt Lake City’s Cummings Chocolates said her store’s chocolate-covered strawberries are such a popular Valentine’s Day treat that she has to hire two police officers to help manage traffic and park cars on the day before and Valentine’s Day itself. Prices for a Valentine’s package of the strawberries start at $38.

Baked goods can be a hit, too. At Mini’s Cupcakes in Salt Lake City, for example, cake pops decorated with hearts or a six pack of cupcakes decorated for Valentine’s Day and featuring chocolate cherries and strawberry whipped cream should prove popular. The six pack costs $15.

Debbie Anderson at Brown Floral suggested delivering a package containing roses, a box of chocolates and a stuffed teddy bear topped with a mylar balloon.

"Everyone loves candy," said Marni Ruller of American Fork-based Kencraft, who said the company outlet store mixes stuffed animals with a big box of chocolates.

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Bill Bennion of Bennion’s Jewelry in Salt Lake City said a Swarovski crystal bracelet that sells for between $120 and $150 is a popular Valentine’s item for women, while a high-quality watch is a sweet investment for men.

Perfume can often be a good choice for a gift for a woman. Those looking for a unique Utah product might want to check out Chocolate Crave Perfume, a Logan company. The $29 perfume packaged in an Italian bottle is available only online from www.chocolatecraveperfume.com.

Chocolate Crave Perfume owner Alan Hochbeg got the idea when he traveled to Elba, Italy, where the smell of a local chocolate factory was thick and sweet. He returned to the States and worked with a perfume designer to come up with a chocolate-scented perfume.

Fun and funky » Since nothing says romance quite like a zombie, Heman of Cabin Fever said a new shipment of original Walking Dead figurines seems to be a sure bet, especially if last year’s holiday sales of this item gave any indication. Heman said candy underwear remains a popular gift. A specialty colored-plastic belt, called C4 belts, are major sellers.

John Irsik of the EndZone Hobby Center in Clearfield said the store carries a number of couples games. He likes a card game called Love Letter.

"Guys like Harlequin statues," he said. "We have a cutout doll of Penny from the Big Bang Theory … Doctor Who stuff is really popular with guys and girls."

Tiffany Sommer of Cahoots in Salt Lake City suggested a book called Love Listography.

"It is sort of a notebook for couples to fill out together," she said. "You write down your favorite love songs, where you met or your favorite date place. It works for guys or girls."

On the racier side, Cahoots carries all of the 50 Shades of Grey books and an illustrated guide to the Kama Sutra using sock puppet monkeys.

Representatives from Cahoots, the West Valley City Blue Boutique and Salt Lake City-based Mischievous Pleasures all suggested a his and hers toy called a We-Vibe that apparently is selling well in Utah.

Pampering » The Avenues Day Spa in Salt Lake City is offering a special $155.60 Valentine’s Day package for women that includes a 60-minute aromatherapy massage, a classic facial and a classic pedicure. Couples massages which sell for $130 for two are also a nice gift.

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