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High sugar prices sour the mood on Valentine's Day

Feb 14, 2024
Manufacturers of sweets and candies face rising costs for sugar and cocoa due to weather patterns and disease denting supply.
The costs of both sugar and cocoa have climbed — making the costs of Valentine's Day chocolates rather bittersweet for candy lovers.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Hallmark movies may be "a little cookie-cutter," but audiences don't seem to mind

Feb 12, 2024
"They are very cozy and comforting," said Danyel Smith of The New York Times Magazine. "Especially in these times."
Annie Howell, Crown Media communications chief, speaks at a screening of "Christmas on Cherry Lane," one of the 42 Christmas films that Hallmark produced in 2023.
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Hallmark Media

Mississippi record store enlists student influencers to help business

Feb 24, 2023
Phillip Rollins, owner of Offbeat, wants to attract more college students and give them a place to hang out.
Valentine's Day brought an spike in record sales for Phillip Rollins, owner of Offbeat.
Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

“It wasn’t what we wanted, but its what we expected”

Feb 22, 2023
A flower company CEO reflects on a shifting economic landscape.
Christina Stembel, CEO of Farmgirl Flower, an online flower delivery company.
Photo by Anna-Alexia Basille

Valentine's Day chocolate sales were strong ... but it'd be helpful if you shopped earlier

Feb 17, 2023
"It's fun but it's difficult to know how much to make when everyone comes in on the same day," said Kristin Thalheimer Bingham, co-owner of Dean's Sweets in Portland, Maine.
Of all the holidays, Valentine's Day is the biggest chocolate-seller for Dean's Sweets.
Courtesy Melissa Mullen Photography

Financial losses from romance scams add up

Reported romance scam losses in 2022 were $1.3 billion, but that's likely an undercount.
Many online scammers are running multiple cons at once, including romance scams.
celiaosk via Getty Images

For this flower company CEO, it’s not just about growth

Feb 23, 2022
After laying off more than 200 people, Christina Stembel hopes to cultivate a healthy company — not just a growing one.
Christina Stembel, CEO of the direct-to-consumer company Farmgirl Flowers, said inflation and Apple’s new privacy policy are forcing her to pass higher costs on to customers.
Courtesy Farmgirl Flowers/Anna-Alexia Basille

For public good, not for profit.

Thinking hearts and flowers? Valentine's Day bouquets may cost a bit more this year

Feb 14, 2022
Florists say they need to charge more because their costs have gone up.
If you want a dozen red roses for your sweetheart this Valentine's Day, florists say you better be prepared to pay more.
Siegfried Modola/Getty Images

Why Valentine’s Day shipping delays are this CEO’s “biggest fear”

Feb 3, 2021
“There’s just a lot of it that’s out of our control completely,” says Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers.
Valentine's Day shipping delays have the potential to cost Farmgirl Flowers $12 million in a worst-case scenario, CEO Christina Stembel says. Above, a Farmgirl Flowers bouquet.
Courtesy of Farmgirl Flowers