Hi, I'm Jackie Lobdell, and I'm the advertising manager for Geneva Patch and a lot of the other Patch sites in the area.
We're trying something a little bit different with this column, which I'll do my best to keep writing every week or two.
While I'm out and about visiting businesses in Geneva, I get a chance to talk to a lot of great business people. I get to see how hard they work, what deals they're offering and sometimes sample their wares—which is one of the fun parts of the job!
Anyway, what I thought I'd do—and Geneva Patch Editor Rick Nagel said was OK—is just take a few minutes to show you some of the good deals and interesting products and services here in Geneva. In the name of full, Patchy disclosure, these businesses usually will be people who advertise with Patch, or who we hope will advertise with Patch.
Here are three of my favorites, and what they're doing to gear up for Valentine's Day:
is the perfect spot to find that unique gift for Valentine's Day for a friend or someone special. Take advantage of the $5 off coupon that is available on their site—now through Feb 14. Get it while it lasts!
Cocoon offers a punch card for frequent shoppers that can save you $25 when it's full. Some great items for Valentine's Day are candles to set the mood, all kinds of home accessories, jewelry, unique frames, great purses and cute cosmetic bags, bath and lotion products, a men's line of fragrance, lotion and bodywash, and special gifts you cannot find anywhere else.
There are 10 rooms filled with things you've never seen at a price you can afford —their inventory changes daily—so stop in often and you'll always find something new. Cocoon specializes in gifts under $25 and (something I love) gift wrapping is always free!
has a lot to offer for Valentine's Day gifts: chocolate heart boxes filled with hand-rolled truffles (yum!), chocolate fondue kits, chocolate Teddie bears (so cute!) and hearts and cupids.
Let's face it, Valentine's is the most-specific Graham's-related holiday, so they encourage their cusotmers to pick a box (heart or square) and fill it with chocolate. What's cool is you can come in and pick out that special chocolate you know they love, and the selection is fantastic.
From nutty Engish toffee to chocolate-dipped marshmellows, chocolate-covered strawberries, stem-on strawberries—and decadant high end-truffles, all dipped by hand! There's surely no place more perfect for your Valentine's Day gift.
"Everything is made with love," to quote Jayni Wunderlich (daughter of Robert Untiedt, the owner of Grahams.) Also, Graham's is the perfect place to visit after a delicious Valentine's Day dinner in downtown Geneva. Come for chocolate fondue for two—and their hot chocolate is fabulous, too. Feel free to bring some champagne or wine and share it with your valentine! (BYOB is allowed and encouraged.)
has Chocolate Daze (a celebration of chocolate) going on right now!
This month, you can indulge your loved ones in something decadent. Great Harvest is offering chocolate goodies throughout the month of February to satisfy your sweety's sweet tooth and chocolate cravings.
Great gifts for Valentine's Day include frosted-heart cookies, double-chocolate brownies, larger-than-life frosted sprinkled chocolate cupcakes, mixes to make at home of double chocolate brownie mix or chocolate chip cookie mix.
Great idea: Great Harvest can do a gift box of chocolate goodies, breads with speciality items, with lots of varieties available.
While you're celebrating Chocolate Daze, make sure you get a sample of freshly baked items, as well. That's one of the things I love most about Great Harvest, the free sampling.
Kim and Marty have been serving up delicious baked items for three years on North Third Street in downtown Geneva.
This isn't necessarily Valentine-related, but they also have a lot of soup mixes for those cold winter days. They make GREAT easy and fast dinners! They offer a variety of delicious sandwiches and now offer luncheon catering packages that includes sandwiches and sweets.
Click here to view Great Harvest's February menu for the featured chocolate offerings of the day!
That's it for our first installment. Let me know how you like the column, and send along some ideas on where I should visit next. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Editor's note: Of course, I said, "Yes!" when Jackie said she was interested in doing a column for Geneva Patch. As you can see, there's a lot of good information here, and I am 100 percent behind anything that promotes businesses in Geneva. The important thing to note is what Jackie said earlier. She is the Patch ad manager, and the businesses she mentions here are either ones that advertise with Patch or ones she hopes will advertise with Patch. No secrets. No slight of hand. Just a column we hope will be a good read and a champion of Geneva businesses.