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Care for a candy bouquet?

DETROIT LAKES - In need of a unique Valentine's present?

With a colorful array of confectionary bouquet creations, the Candy Store, located within Becker Pet and Garden, has something new to offer the lakes area on Valentines this year.

"It (Candy Bouquet) was a good addition to our candy store," said Becker Pet and Garden's Lon Eikren.

A new twist on a timeless gift-giving standard, the floral bouquet, modern candy bouquets use candy pieces instead of flowers for their bouquet building material. These unique candy bouquets are available in a variety of price points, colors and styles, Candy Bouquet creations provide unique gifts for everything from the arrival of a new baby to a one-of-a-kind birthday wish.

"Our miniature rocking horses filled with pastel blue and pink candies have been popular for people heading to the hospital to visit new babies," said Eikren.

Started over a decade ago in Little Rock, Ark., today's Candy Bouquet International, Inc. has more than 880 stores in the United States and abroad.

Depending on what type of candies a person likes, the design options are endless, remarked Eikren.

"We can make almost anything. People can give me a color and a price range and I can make up any sort of candy bouquet. We also deliver," added Eikren.

Some of the Candy Store's more recent creations include Valentine-themed red and white bouquets and sundae glasses filled with caramels, saltwater taffies and butterscotch pieces.

And for men, the Candy Store's Candy Bouquet line affords a sweet alternative to flowers offering up such treats as rustic tins filled with chocolate covered almonds, camouflage clad bouquets and candy bar topped Cocoa-Cola tins.

Said Eikren: "Jelly Belly jelly bean candies have been good sellers too."

To get their franchise up and running, Eikren and wife Sally attended specialized training in Little Rock, which provided business information as well as hands on bouquet building experience.

"Little Rock is really a neat town and the training was very helpful. I like to make things," commented Eikren, "so it was actually a lot of fun."

In light of their Candy Bouquet line, Becker Pet and Garden and the Candy Store recently re-organized their shop's layout to accommodate their new franchise housed within.

"We moved things around a little bit and put all the Becker Pet and Garden items like bird feeders and pet supplies in the back of the store and all the candy items together in the front," remarked Eikren. "Everything has a good flow now."

Gearing up for the first big candy holiday of the New Year, Valentines Day, the Candy Store has been making a variety of red and white candy bouquet creations, readying for the chocolate frenzy soon at hand.

"It is our first Valentine's Day, so we didn't quite know what kind or how many bouquets to build. Once we get through this first one, though, we'll have a good base line for next year."

The Candy Store is located at 1008 Washington Avenue, next to the Detroit Lakes Public Library. For more information about their new line of Candy Bouquets, call 847-8265.