Whether you love or hate Valentine's Day, you can soothe your heart and soul at Downtown Phoenix Public Market and grab a couple of nifty presents while you're at it.
Many vendors also sell their goods at local stores, online, or at more than one Valley farmers' market, so check the links provided below or contact them through the main market site. (And have some backup options in mind, because not every vendor attends every market with every product in stock.)
Let's start with chocolate: Wei of Chocolate brings herbs, spices, flower essences, and, most important, dreamy orgasmic tastiness to the current organic Fair Trade dark chocolate hoopla. With flavors like Daily Love and Inner Delight, and single-flavor or mixed packages in several sizes, they've got a little something for every mood, dosha, and pocketbook.
How swell does it feel to come home to the aroma of a savory supper that someone is fixing just for you? Make magic with Rafter Six Ranch's Arizona natural beef and/or a raft of vegetables (on display everywhere you look, and you'll want to pick those out yourself).
At the Simon's Garden booth, snag a pre-planted box or pot of edible plants. On Saturday, February 14 (really the last possible time to get a Valentine's gift), they'll have specially decorated planters of herbs, veggies, and edible flower assortments including pansies, violets, nasturtiums, and sweet peas.
A gift suggesting domestic chores is tricky -- it can bring everything to a screeching halt like a bucket of water on a campfire. But the unique aprons of MRS Pinafore, with their heart-shaped bibs and pockets, in fabrics printed with chocolates, conversation hearts, and lipstick kisses, are so adorable, you'll be in the clear. (It couldn't hurt to model an apron, either. And nothing else.)
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Batting clean-up is Emelmahae Soap Company. From demure little lip balms to sea salt bath soaks and body oils, these sensually fragrant gifts suggest activities that are bound to bring you closer.
But what if none of these ideas work -- you're all alone and you just can't get a date? Make a stop at Sonoran Date Palms, where you can always get a date. Or a whole package.
Downtown Phoenix Public Market runs Wednesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the southeast corner of Central Avenue and McKinley Street. Parking is free.