Rochester retailers say candy, flowers remain Easter favorites

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Easter weekend is here, and that means spring goodies like flowers and chocolates and other confections are in demand.

It’s one of the busiest weeks of the year for some retailers. It’s so busy at Stever’s Candies and Rockcastle Florist that from the moment the doors open, customers stream in, and phones ring off the hook.

“The last week before Easter, we do the bacon and eggs, and it’s a pretty constant line through the store,” said shopper Bill Sloane.

This time of year, the line at Stever’s Candies often stretches right out the front door, down the street, and around the block. Many patrons make a stop at the Park Avenue purveyor every year.

“We’ve got some caramels. We’ve got some fun character shapes. what else did we get? Some little bunnies. Some chicks,” shopper Jessica Michnevich said.

Kevin Stever, president of Stever’s Candies, says it’s always great to see returning customers.

“You know, it’s not a huge investment, and it’s a luxury item. People usually like to still get little Easter items for the kids,” he said.

The 15-pound chocolate bunny on display is among the luxury items. It’s over 3 feet tall – and costs $295 dollars. But Stever says it’s the bacon and eggs that bring people back because they’re only made once a year.

“Sales have been quite brisk on it, and it’s kind of a last-minute thing. We just do it the six days of the year from the Monday through Saturday of Easter week,” Stever said.

Across the city, employees at Rockcastle Florist are busy, too. Co-owner Wendy Rockcastle says people’s tastes have changed over the years. Corsages are out, special arrangements are in.

“More people are getting together just for celebrations. So we do a lot of centerpieces. We do still send plants,” she said. “We’ve diversified a little bit since COVID, and we now are partners with local wineries so we can send wine, champagne, beer.”

Bakery goods like pies and cookies are paired with flowers.

“This works out really well for us, and the consumer, because we’re able to package these gift items together, and have them delivered to their door,” Rockcastle said.

But even on their own, flowers are a hit.

“Our most popular arrangement this year for Easter is just a beautiful spring vase,” Rockcastle said.

Both retailers will be open Saturday for those last-minute gifts.