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New Canaan Sweets Shops Expect a Rush

With no snow in the sky and love beginning to fill the air, Susan Gilissen is expecting more visitors to her Elm Street shop in the next few days.

They’ll be drawn to her Belgique Chocolatier by the smell of hot chocolate and other confections as they look for Valentine’s Day gifts for their sweethearts.

“It’s definitely starting to build,” Gilissen said Thursday as she put bows on boxes bound for a Valentine’s Day party. “It’s great not having to think about all that snow.”

Gilissen expects that many customers are holding out until the weekend. Some may select dark chocolate swans, others heart-shaped boxes of assorted sweets. Some will get a square of chocolate to make hot cocoa at home.

“This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday, so a lot of people will do their shopping over the weekend,” she says.

Many of Belgique’s early customers have been women buying for significant others or their children and grandchildren, she said. She expects more romance minded men to stop by as Valentine’s Day gets closer. “The men tend to wait until later,” she said.

Craig Medina, manager of Crumbs Bake Shop across Elm Street, is also expecting more visitors over the weekend and on Monday. Most will want to get the classic red velvet cupcake, a popular treat that becomes even more appropriate on love’s big day, given its red and white color. But the Ooo-La-La muffin, chocolate cake with cream filling and a brownie top, will also fare well.

Medina said business started picking up during the week. He attributes that to people finally realizing that Valentine’s Day is at hand. “Our big days will be Saturday and Sunday,” he said. “We expect to be busy.”

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