Whether you’re shopping this Valentine’s Day for your sweetheart or yourself, these local businesses offer an array of indulgent gifts sure to please their recipient.
By Jamie Caulley
For the Hollywood Star News
It’s doubtful there is anything more decadent than the rose-and-chocolate facial at Zama Spa. The 60-minute service includes drizzles of warm, cocoa butter massaged into your neck, arms and hands, while your skin receives an invigorating, deep cleanse and your body melts into the plush chair. Afterwards, sparkling cider and chocolates await your new, glowing self.
Zama has a long list of spa offerings, every one worth exploring. Each service can include massage—from acupuncture, manicures/pedicures, facials, detox wraps and the spa’s soon-to-be-offered salt therapy.
The spa is a truly relaxing experience from the moment you step into its antique-like-but-modern decor. You’ll be greeted with sweet smells and calming music, spicy tea and comfy furniture. The goal is to “create a place where we let the city of Portland shine a little bit brighter,” says owner Genevra Cardoso. “It’s a whole different kind of spa. When someone comes in, we can really connect and help them feel better without them even knowing what they needed.”
But why not share the love? For February, Zama is running a special on the Couples Warm Cocoa Butter Medley, 60 minutes of luxurious massage with your sweetheart by your side.
“The fragrance. The depth. The way that they open. There is so much about them,” explains owner Tannis Bauers, regarding her lifelong love of flowers. “There is nothing that rivals the color in a flower.”
Flowers are both beautiful and rare; flower arrangements even more so. Sending them leaves a lasting impression.
This Valentine’s Day consider sending your sweetheart flowers from a local florist. Bauers hand selects just about everything she uses and can easily accommodate special requests. In addition, the Portland Flower Market on Swan Island gives her access to many locally grown flowers, which often last longer, are wonderfully fragrant and more attractive than imported flowers.
Of course when you order from a local florist you’re supporting local growers, as well. Bauers expects to have local orchids, flowering quince stems, budding branches of forsythia, spring bulbs, lilies, anemone and, of course, roses available for Valentine’s Day.
She suggests ordering a couple of days early to make sure you get what you want.
Flowers “offer a lot of comfort when it’s needed and a lot of joy when it’s needed. They are a symbol for what is good in life. Flowers are rockin’,” Bauers says.
Her personal journey, her truffles and her infectious energy make it easy to fall in love with Melissa Berry, owner of Missionary Chocolates.
“I ended up a chocolate maker by complete random accident,” Berry explains about her vegan chocolate company’s humble beginning. Starting as an experimental Christmas present for her mom’s discerning vegan palette, Missionary Chocolates became a company just three months later. All the while, Berry was completing her final year of naturopathic medical school and raising a son as a single parent.
Her goal always has been to fund naturopathic healthcare through the sale of her chocolates. Using only high-quality ingredients and nothing artificial has made this process slow. Thankfully, she has a dedicated group of friends and colleagues who believe in her mission as much as she does. They spend countless hours making truffles, sending them down the “I Love Lucy”-style conveyor belt or packaging them in boxes. Nearly six years later, Berry’s dream is getting closer.
A visit to Missionary Chocolates is a bit like stepping into your grandmother’s kitchen. Pots of coconut milk and raspberries simmer on the stovetop, trays of truffles are stacked on shelves and counters, and you’re rapidly consuming chocolate samples before you even have a chance to take it all in.
Every truffle here is decorated by hand, with love and intention. Missionary Chocolate carries nine delicious regular truffle flavors and is adding several flavors for Valentine’s Day, including cranberry white chocolate, peach habenaro, strawberry and heart-shaped chocolates in lavender or raspberry.