Local Chocolatier Braces for Last-Minute Valentine's Shoppers

Albert Kirchmayr, who has been in business for 25 years, said he has grown accustomed to the rush of customers.

On the afternoon before , Albert Kirchmayr was mid-way through the second busiest day of his year. The first being the actual holiday itself.

"I would say about 80 percent of people wait until the last day," Kirchmayr, the epononymous owner of , said with a laugh.

While the store is usually open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and closed on Sunday, Kirchmayr extended the weekday hours to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and was open on Feb. 12 to accommodate the increased demand. He also brought in more staff members to help out with customers.

"After 25 years, we know what we're doing," he said with a yawn.

In addition to his , Kirchmayr caters to an overwhelming number of new faces each Valentine's Day.

"This is when the men come out in droves," he said.

One of his most reliable customers is a man who, for the past five years, has come in a few days before Valentine's Day to have the store create a chocolate broken heart structure for his ex-wife. Kirchmayr said he bakes the structure to purposely crack in the middle.

"[The customer] always asks me if other men ask for this," he said. "I say, 'no, you're the only one.' He thinks it'll catch on with other men."

But what's really popular around Valentine's Day are truffles and other chocolates held inside an edible container. Kirchmayr also expects that a third of his sales this holiday will come from chocolate-covered strawberries.

"It's gotten so predictable," he said with a laugh.

Kathy Hoatson February 14, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Where is he located
Nayana Davis February 14, 2012 at 02:55 PM
9630 Deereco Road in Timonium


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