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The flavor of love

Skip the checkout line and hit up some local crafters for your V-day treats

Don’t disappoint with that generic heart-shaped box. You have other options. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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Imagine this. You're in rush hour traffic, inching towards home when you realize it. It's the big day, Valentine's Day. You rush to your nearest grocery store and grab that bright red, cellophane wrapped, heart-shaped box of sweets and a bouquet of blossoms, whisk them home and stride through the door, smirking. She'll never know, you're the romantic charmer she's come to know and love! You devil, you. Here's the thing, she will know. It's a generic slapdash attempt. You can do better.

Pro-tip, plan ahead. Make those reservations, or Netflix and chill and stay home. Exchange a token of your admiration. Maybe your honey pie has a sweet tooth, maybe not. Either way, here is a list of some delectable gifting ideas curated from right here in the South Sound. Your significant other will delight in your ingenuity and support of a local maker. Trust me.

Don't get me wrong, chocolates are still very high on the desirable Valentine's Day gift scale. Just go local. The South Sound has a variety of local chocolatiers and candy shops. Tease Chocolates is known for handcrafted treats, including mesmerizing, rich truffles. Currently, they have Mad Woman Truffles, a ganache infused with Mad Hat Tea boasting rosehip, raspberry and chamomile flavor matrimonies. They also have house-made chocolate bars, peanut butter cups and sticky sweet caramels with funky, fresh flavors like smoked maple bacon ghost pepper and more. 610 N. 1st, Tacoma,

Old Town Delights crafts caramels that you will savor. Their selection includes traditional caramel bites, pecan caramel clusters and handmade dark chocolate truffles elevated to next level good with chai tea, espresso, vanilla, orange and peppermint. You can find their wares at a variety of retail spaces including Harbor Greens, Paper Luxe, Tacoma Boys, H & L Produce or order online at

Bittersweet Chocolates in Olympia produces delectable works of art with colorful candies. Vibrantly hued pink hearts, swirls of the galaxy, silvery greens, it's clear that they get that we eat with our eyes first. Bittersweet also has vino varietals in shop to pair with their chocolates. And if you're a traditionalist, they do indeed have a heart-shaped box for your sweetheart's sweets. 513 Washington St. SE, Olympia,

Usually, when we attach baked goods to special occasions, we have flashbacks of kiddies birthday shindigs. The littles running wild with sugar highs, like wildebeests, but really, a delightfully baked treat is pure romance. Even if you do go out to dinner, returning home to light some candles and shimmy down to something more comfortable is only improved by cake. Corina Bakery is among tops in the region producing a scrumptious selection of baked goods from scratch. Bonus, they have a stellar variety of goodies for those with dietary restrictions. Gluten-free, soy-free and vegan artisan desserts that still feel like an indulgence. 602 Fawcett Ave., Tacoma,

If cupcakes are more your vibe, try Miss Moffett's Mystical Cupcakes. These folks were featured on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars and craft scratch-made, gluten-free delights including moist and fluffy cupcakes and French macaroons. Their elegant little cakes present creative flavors like lavender lemon, Samoa, Coconut Cheesecake and more. The shop makes it super easy to get your mitts on their treats with several locations and delivery available in some areas. Find out more at

I don't typically condone sneaking treats into the movie theater, but if catching a flick is on the agenda, I encourage you to snag some Liberte Du Monde Gourmet Salts. While this Tacoma-based vendor can often be found at local farmers' markets and street fairs during the summer months, your best bet this season is to order online. Delightful concoctions like Italian black truffle sea salt or their cheddar cheese, salt and pepper gourmet popcorn seasoning will transform that bucket of buttery popcorn wedged between you and your date into something of magic. Sneak it in your purse, sprinkle and enjoy the flavor party in your mouth. Order at

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