VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Some small businesses make a lot of their profit on Valentine’s Day and the few days leading up to the holiday, and The Royal Chocolate is one of those.
The Royal Chocolate is a woman-owned small business at 164 Central Park Avenue in Virginia Beach. Co-owner Brenda Tusing says the day before Valentine’s Day and the holiday itself are their busiest days of the year.
“We do thousands and thousands of freshly-dipped strawberries, so people are pre-ordering those now. Sometimes they’ll just walk in and buy them,” said Tusing.
They’ve had to shorten their hours due to staffing challenges during the pandemic, according to Tusing. They’ve also decided to close on Mondays, except for next Monday the 14th, which she said is exciting yet intense.
She said supply chain issues have made ordering and planning very challenging.
“Things that maybe would come in a week or two are coming in in maybe five or six weeks, so it’s very hard to judge when you should order,” Tusing explained.
For example, she said they ordered sparkly, red ribbons for their packages months ago, and they were to arrive before Christmas - yet they just came in on Wednesday. But the red was perfect for Valentine’s Day.
The Royal Chocolate has a variety of sweets including hand-dipped chocolate strawberries, truffles, hot chocolate bombs and chocolate and caramel apples. It also has a seating area where customers can enjoy chocolate fondue.
Tusing says she has been impressed with the support their small business has received.
“They’ve been very supportive, have shopped with us, encouraged us when they come in with their concern for us, so it’s been a good thing. Nothing’s all good or all bad, and that’s one of the good things about the pandemic, I feel.”