Good Morning and happy Monday morning! I know, not a very happy Monday for some, with this wet, wintery mess. But maybe this will brighten your day–thinking about Valentine’s Day. The love, the candy…what’s not to get excited about? If you follow my blog, you know that I love to highlight and support Pennsylvania businesses. So I thought, what better way to highlight the great things that Pennsylvania has to offer, than to do a Valentine’s Day gift guide of just items and gifts from Pennsylvania businesses!?
Pennsylvania has some really great things to offer, so let’s get started…..
Every region of PA has great restaurants, but you can visit the PA Preferred website, put in your zip code and find restaurants that they highlight because they use PA products. Farm-to-table is a hot topic and trend in restaurants right now, and many restaurants are proud of the fact that they are sourcing local items to serve and sell.
Both Lancaster county/PA Dutch country and the Poconos are tourist regions that are offering Valentine’s Day specials if you want to do an overnight getaway. Both have options that are geared to just couples or for a family getaway.
If I was going to recommend some local restaurants, I would pick either Twelves in West Grove or Brandywine Prime in Chadds Ford. Twelves is a BYO, so grab a bottle of local wine before you go (recommendations below!). If you are on a tight budget, Brandywine Prime often offers specials like half-price nights on some items, so that you can still have a nice out and get a deal.
If I was going to go to a candy store in person, hands down my favorite one is Josh Early on Tilghman Street in Allentown. In my mind, I can still picture the old Dorneyville location (was demolished to make room for 78 :( ) and the wonderful smell when you walk in the doors is burned into my brain for all of eternity. I love their chocolate non-pareils and if memory serves, they have a Bethlehem location too.
I haven’t lived there is almost 20 years, but there used to be a candy store in Colmar, PA, right on 309, right by the tracks. If they are still there, you must go in and ask for the white chocolates with the chocolate ganache in the middle. One of the best chocolate anythings I have ever tasted.
If you don’t live within reasonable distance of either of those stores, check your local mall and see if they have a Gertrude Hawk or you can order from them online. One of my favorites that I have ordered from them is their mixture of chocolate, caramel and sea salt. I am ordering these from my son’s Gertrude Hawk fundraiser, and I swear I could eat the whole 2lb container in one sitting.
They also have cute gift items like this, for just $14.99!
Jewelry is another popular Valentine’s Day gift idea. Family owned jewelers that have real jewelry designers and craftsmen on the premises are a dying breed. Here locally we still have Bove Jewelers in Kennett Square. And, awesome news, when I checked their website for this post, they are having a huge sale, see?!
I am such a sap for sentimental stuff, and I love getting gemstone things in my own birthstone plus those of my kids. I haven’t been in Bove since December, but at that time they had a fantastic selection of cute, understated pieces with all the various birthstones in it.
Pennsylvania has a fantastic assortment of wineries. Whether you want to just have some to drink at home, or go out for a tasting, there are plenty to choose from. I want to give a plug to one of my favorites, VaLa, which is right here in Avondale. You can find a list of over 140 PA Wineries here.
Another one of my favorite little places to visit is Rosazza’s Greenhouses here in Avondale. If you’re lucky, Mr. Rosazza will be there poking around working, and he is just a wealth of local information. It’s wonderful to engage him in conversation, you’ll learn a lot about this area. Even if he’s not there, walking the greenhouse is a real treat. I love going in there on a dreary day and seeing the forced sweet peas and geraniums–it picks you right up! If you don’t get your Valentine’s Day flowers there, make sure you go for Easter flowers or your summer annuals.
Well, restaurants, candy, flowers, jewelry, wine……..I think we covered it all. If you want to give a plug to your favorite Pennsylvania business, leave it in the comments. Happy Valentine’s Day!