Valentine’s Day in Iwilei

HCC Forever Roses

Forever Roses 2

With Valentine’s Day on Saturday, I’m probably not alone in looking for something special for someone special this week. While I’d love to scour the island day and night, chances are I’m going to have to do my treasure hunting from my office in Dole Cannery. Fortunately, there are some interesting options even in this off-to-the-side urban neighborhood.

Over at Honolulu Community College, students in the Sheet Metal and Plastics Technology program are once again crafting and selling the “Forever Rose.” These are handcrafted roses made out of metal.

Last year, they added a little color, selling a few copper roses in addition to the standard silver sheet metal roses. The copper roses were such a hit, they’re only selling copper ones this year for $15 each.

They’ve set aside afternoons from tomorrow through Thursday to make them, and will then sell them on Friday beginning at 9:30 a.m. at HCC Building 17 (behind the administration building). It will be first-come, first-served, while supplies last. For more information, call Danny Aiu at (808) 845-9237.

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Meanwhile, at Padovani’s Chocolates, you can get perhaps the fanciest chocolate-covered strawberries on the island. Sure, you could make your own, but having tried these, I’m spoiled for anything else.

Famed Hawaii chef Philippe Padovani has been running a small, hard-to-find chocolate and bakery shop in Dole Cannery for several years, but even today, many people only find it by accident. But Padovani’s Chocolates is worth seeking out, with great chocolates, pastries, and gourmet ingredients.

For Valentine’s Day this year, he’s bringing in 300 huge strawberries with the stems still on (no easy feat, he says) and hand dipping them in his special hand-made blend of chocolate. The chocolate is not too sweet, but definitely not bitter, and unlike nearly every other chocolate covered strawberry out there, Padovani doesn’t use any oils or other tricks to get a smooth, even coating. Just the perfect balance of temperature and timing that only a seasoned chef has.

Padovani’s chocolate-covered strawberries are $7.50 each, and available in beautifully wrapped single or double boxes. This treat is offered only while supplies last, so you’ll probably want to pre-order to ensure you get some. Just call (808) 536-4567.

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padovani-jewelry-1Finally, if you want to go big this Valentine’s Day, Padovani is trying something new, having just last week partnered with the folks at Tropical Creations downstairs.

Tropical Creations is a local manufacturer and wholesaler of jewelry, and the company has been around since 1976. Like Padovani’s, they are hard to find, tucked away on the ground floor of Dole Cannery across from the movie theaters. While there’s a small storefront, most of the company’s massive square footage is dedicated to a behind-the-scenes factory.

So if fancy chocolates aren’t enough to demonstrate your love, you could turn the knob all the way up with a piece of complementary jewelry. Here are a few of example combinations, priced from $200 to $10,000 (!)… though of course Padovani and his partners would be happy to help you find the right pieces of jewelry to go with the right pieces of chocolate.

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You can see Padovani talking about his partnership with Tropical Creations in this Hawaii News Now Sunrise morning show.

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