Cary, N.C. — Flowers and candy are the traditional Valentine's Day gifts, and those who create and deliver them can't let a little bit of snow dampen the romance.
"Things don't just fall together when you're creating. It has to be thought out and has to be done quickly," said Bob Strother, creator-in-chief for 51 years at family-owned Strother Floral Gallery in Cary.
Strother is fast, focused and finicky. He has to be to serve clients that have included the White House.
So the blanket of white from Mother Nature was no big deal.
"I mostly take things in stride," he said. "I can only handle today and this moment."
He's certain Strother will make all of its Valentine's Day deliveries with help from his two sons, Brandyn and Janssen and a four-wheel-drive Land Rover.
"They'll get there," Brandyn Strother said, "even if we have to park or even walk them up."
As dad shouts about deadlines, his sons take it in stride.
"Sometimes he gets a little worked up. The holidays are a little bit tough there," Janssen Strother said.
At Videri Chocolate Factory in downtown Raleigh, workers were hustling too, trying to fill orders from one holiday to the next.
Starr Sink compared her Valentine's Day workload to that of an accountant in early April.
"We started the day after Christmas, catching up from Christmas, getting ready for Valentine's," she said. "This is our favorite time of year."
Videri, on Davie Street, is a beans-to-bar factory. They take cocoa beans, roast them, crack, grind and add organic ingredients to make their own chocolate.
Customers, who come for the custom confections, are pushing Videri to grow. They opened a coffee bar last year and offer factory tours so that chocolate lovers and Valentine's gift givers can think local when satisfying their sweet tooth.