Here's how you can celebrate Valentine's Day during the pandemic and support small businesses

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Posted at 5:28 AM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 06:32:46-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Valentine’s Day is this Sunday. We’re not letting this pandemic dampen our spirits. I found some creative gift-giving ideas right here in metro Detroit that are budget-friendly and locally inspired -- so you don’t waste your money.

Sure…snatching up any old heart-shaped box of candy at the grocery store checkout is fine.

Or you can take your sweetheart on a sweet treats tour of Detroit!


Map out your favorite spots, and make a day of it!

“There are so many amazing Detroit sweets companies that it’s pretty cool to be there among, you know, the Good Cakes and Bakes, and the Sister Pies, and the Sanders of the world,” said Alex Clark.

Clark is the founding chocolatier of Bon Bon Bon – known for its handmade artisan chocolates that are good to the last bite, bite, bite!

So, mask up, couple up or come with your friends!

Visit one of Bon Bon Bon's three shops in person (locations in Ann Arbor, Midtown Detroit, & Downtown Detroit ) to curate a box of your own bonbons.

I asked Alex what her favorite size box of bonbons is.

“The 4-piece box, but that’s more of the kind of box you buy when you’re, like, just starting to date someone,” she said. “Like, I-like-you-but-it’s-okay-and-it’s-comfortable kind of size box . But if you’re really in love with somebody you’ve been dating for a while, I’d go with the classic 12 [size box of bonbons].”

A single bon is $3.00 in store or $3.50 online.

So, buying a dozen in person will save you six bucks!


You could also opt for the gift of luxurious pampering.

“Today we have our Jane’s Roses Valentine’s Day Bundle,” said Kayla Jane McPhaul, holding up a basket full of goodies.

The bundle includes “Be With You” Body Butter, “Say Yes” Body Scrub, “Touch My Body” Oil, “Surfboard” Body Soak, a 20 oz. 3 wick Rose Garden candle, a box of chocolates, and two complimentary bottles of Jane’s Rosé.

McPhaul created -- an all-natural skin and body care company in Detroit -- in 2018 while in college at Eastern Michigan University.
The Public Health major is set to graduate in April of this year, but she's already found her calling.

“It is infused with ylang ylang, jasmine, and rose,” she said while rubbing some of her hand-crafted lotion on her hand

The 23-year-old business owner is all about nurturing the skin you’re in.

“I’ve dealt with skin issues my whole life. I’ve had really sensitive skin. My grandmother was really into holistic healing and herbal remedies,” she explained. “So I’ve always been passionate about making my own products.”

And she’s offering 25% off her entire site through 6 p.m. on Feb. 13 if you use promo code "WXYZ".

Valentine’s day delivery is available to metro Detroit customers. But hurry! Bundles are going fast.


A little bling can make a beautiful gift.

“These are sterling silver, rose gold plated. This is the elongated heart,” said Detroit jewelry designer Ashley Gold as she held up one of her necklaces.

Gold is offering 20% off her pieces on through Valentine’s Day of 2021.

Just use promo code “LOVE” at checkout.

If you want a gift that keeps on giving, she’s offering men’s and women’s monthly subscription boxes starting at $49.

"Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot to have amazing pieces,” Gold said.


Another option is to make or create a gift from the heart.

My husband – who is the skilled chef of the house (I volunteer for clean up duty most days) really likes gluten-free pizza.

So, I tried my hand at making a gluten-free pizza from scratch.

Don’t laugh. It took me two tries just to figure out if my active yeast was any good.

Then rolling out the cauliflower pizza dough was not without its hiccups.

Transferring the dough to the pizza stone was also dicey (it kind of fell apart).

What was left was a crumbly, lopsided pie shape -- but that gave me an idea!

I just reconfigured it into a heart-shape (Awww, right?).

After baking it 5 minutes, I topped it with some pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperonis, green peppers, and black olives.

I finished baking it at 350-degrees for another 10 minutes.

It was far from perfect. Some of the toppings dripped over onto the oven floor.

But, alas, it was edible.

It was under 30 bucks (would have been less if I didn't buy the more expensive gluten-free mix and an entire bottle of active yeast).

And -- most importantly -- it was made with love.


Of course, you can always go out to dinner and have the culinary professionals do what they do best!

In-person dining is back in Michigan, and restaurants would love your business.

Just remember, seating is at 25 percent capacity (among other limitations due to the pandemic.)

So, I recommend you make a reservation ASAP or plan for curb-side pick up or delivery.

One local restaurant group is offering several options for Valentine’s Day that include dinner for two, snack packs, dessert specials, gifts –– something for everyone.

Pandemic Valentine’s Day can be truly lovely when you land some deals and shop local.