Lovebirds in the city are going all out to express their love in the countdown to the most romantic day of the year a week from now.
If Thursday set off the week with Rose Day, lovers are already looking ahead — to Propose Day on Friday and the all-sweet Chocolate Day on Saturday. Little things in life could be better than expressing love for one’s Valentine with cocoa delights — chocolates, cakes and truffles.
The confectioneries and groceries are neither letting their customers down nor failing to cash in on the sweet demand.
Every outlet in Patna has stocked up on chocolates and bonbons (types of sweets, especially small candies wrapped in chocolate) with the imported and the homemade types to choose from.
Sweet Home on Boring Road keeps chocolate treats since it was established in 1987. The store sells both branded and homemade chocolates, much to the delight of the customers.
Ashok Mankani, the owner of Sweet Home, said: “Our homemade chocolates are more in demand. We make bars and toffees by melting chocolate blocks bought usually from Delhi and Mumbai. The ingredients used in making chocolate blocks are cocoa beans, milk, fruits and nuts. The homemade chocolates come in four varieties — almond, fig, butterscotch and walnut.”
The delectable concoctions, once ready, are packed in colourful wrappers, in baskets or gift vouchers and sold in the range of Rs 800-Rs 1,000, Mankani added.
Youngsters in the city are also making most of their options when it comes to gifting their Valentines chocolates in innovative ways. “I have planned to give a chocolate basket with a card and a small teddy to my girlfriend on Chocolate Day. Later, I plan to go for an early dinner with her at a nice restaurant,” said Nihar Sajjan, a young businessman.
Apart from homemade chocolates, every chocoholic in Patna has plenty of imported stuff to choose from.
Some of the popular choice for the chocolate connoisseurs are treats imported from countries like Turkey, Dubai and China.
“We have bought foreign chocolates worth around Rs 35,000 especially for Valentine’s Day. We get the products from dealers in Mumbai. These are available in the range of Rs 200 to over Rs 1,000 like the Damla Éclairs, manufactured in Turkey, which costs Rs 650. The chocolate boxes are also available in various shapes like heart and vanity box and sizes. The heart-shaped ones are the most popular though,” said Santosh Kumar Chaurasia, the owner of New Rajdhani Pan Choice established in 2000.
In the face of homemade and foreign chocolates, the good old Cadbury continues to be the coolest pick.
“Chocolates are identified with the name of Cadbury in a city like Patna. From the evergreen Dairy Milk to Celebrations, Cadbury chocolates are sold the most at our store. Even Toblerone, the popular Swiss chocolate, is sold in the country by Cadbury India,” said Ashok Kumar, the owner of JG Carr & Sons, one of the oldest stores in Patna established in 1948 at Dakbungalow crossing.
Confectionery shops are also a hot alternative for those not too fond of chocolates with cakes and pastries, including dark chocolate and Black Forest, being the big favourites.
When it comes to gifts, the lovers who start the week late can always depend on Archies Gallery to bail them out. “The Cadbury chocolate basket is most in demand at our outlet. The pack has 16 types of chocolates and is priced at Rs 500. Ferrero Rocher is also available for Rs 250-Rs 545. Heart-shaped Chinese chocolate truffles available between Rs 75 and Rs 250 are also quite in demand,” said Pradeep, the owner of Archies Gallery on Boring Road.