Preparing Gifts

Robin and Vicki Shelton prepare gift baskets for Valentine’s Day at their shop on Woods Cove Road in Scottsboro.

While roses and flowers are a wonderful way to say ‘I love you’ on Valentine’s Day, Woods Cove Flowers and Gifts in Scottsboro has an additional way to make your special delivery even better.

For the past three years, Woods Cove has offered hand-dipped chocolates and candies from ‘Sweet Shop USA’ and ‘South Bend Chocolate Company’ that add the perfect touch to any holiday – especially Valentine’s Day.

The chocolates and candies are displayed inside the store in a glass case reminiscent of candy stores from days gone by.

Customers say they are as delicious as they look, and that is what keeps them coming back. 

Robin and Vicki Shelton purchased Woods Cove eight years ago as something to do when they retired. Robin worked in the medical industry, and Vicki taught Science and Biology at Scottsboro High School.

“I was planning to retire and looking for a change,” Robin said. “I heard these people from our church were looking to sell this business so I asked about it.

“We had no idea about the flower business,” he said, “and to be honest, everybody thought we were crazy. But we talked to our kids and their families about it, and they supported us.”

In the beginning, it was a learning experience and the Sheltons consider themselves lucky to have “inherited” some good help along with their new business venture.

“Faye Blizzard does a great job for us in the front,” Robin said. “And we joke that Jackie Evans came with the building. She’s a great designer and she’s been here over 20 years.”

According to the Sheltons, there has been a flower shop at their location for more than 40 years.

While Vicki continued to work in the school system for two more years, Robin was busy learning everything he could to make their business successful.

“It’s not unusual for me to put in 60 hours a week,” he said. “We try to always be available to our customers and give them what they need and want.”

The Sheltons expanded their inventory to include the chocolates, specialty candies, snacks and other specialty items as a way to do just that.

“We were offering ‘Jelly Belly’ jelly beans for a while,” Vicki said, “but the chocolates and other items have really been a hit with our customers. We sell them individually or in gift baskets, so customers can come by and get a truffle or something as a little ‘pick-me-up’ even if they don’t need anything else.”

Even customers who cannot eat sugar can enjoy the treats.

“We carry sugar-free chocolates,” Vicki said. “That way, everyone can enjoy them.”

During the holidays, Woods Cove expands the candy choices to match the occasion.

“This Valentine’s Day, we have hand-dipped cherry chocolate pretzels,” she said, “and chocolate covered dried tart cherries.”

Gift baskets also include some other treats like fruit, cider mix and even homemade ‘Southern Pecan Pie’ in a bottle.

“The Southern Pecan Pie mix makes a great pie,” Robin said. “You just mix the contents of the bottle with eggs and butter, pour it into a pie crust and bake it. It’s really good.”

The candies include a variety of choices like, ‘White Pecan and Almond Brags,’ ‘Double Chocolate Truffles,’ and ‘Peanut Butter and Pretzel Crunch Brags.’

A ‘brag’ is a large cluster of almonds or pecans, with a generous mound of caramel and a swirl of milk chocolate on top.

The peanut butter and almond crunch brags put a different twist on the long-time favorite.

Made with a rich, smooth peanut butter center, the candy is packed full of salty pretzel pieces and smothered in white chocolate.

“The first place our grandkids run to when they visit us is the candy counter,” Vicki said with a laugh. “You can bet on it. I have to keep it locked.”

No matter what the customer has in mind, Woods Cove Flowers and Gifts tries to exceed their expectations.

“We only use the freshest fruit in our baskets and it is all bought locally,” Robin said. “We customize every basket and flower arrangement to fit what our customer wants and we try to make it even better than that.

“Our customers trust us,” he said. “Most of them have an idea of what they want, but they let us just create something from there. Our designers, Jackie Evans, Ronda Stewart, Meghan Cornelison, Jane Dolberry, and Cheryl Bellomy work hard to make everything just right. Our motto here is ‘A place to find something special,’ and that’s what we strive to provide.”

As a pre-Valentine’s Day special, Woods Cove is offering free local delivery on Wednesday and Thursday, February 11 and 12, 2015.

“We are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Robin said, “and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. We are also on-call Saturday evenings and on Sundays.”

Regular delivery areas include Scottsboro, Grant, Woodville, Skyline, Rainsville, Henagar, Stevenson and Bridgeport.

For more information about Woods Cove Florist, visit them on Facebook at: woods-cove-flowers, or call them at: 256-259-5100.

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