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Valentine's Day: Bergen County Feeling Loved

Assistant Manager Melissa Bazzarelli holds up a heart-shaped pizza offered at Franco's Metro in Fort Lee, NJ. Only available on Valentine's Day.
Assistant Manager Melissa Bazzarelli holds up a heart-shaped pizza offered at Franco's Metro in Fort Lee, NJ. Only available on Valentine's Day. Photo Credit: Arthur Augustyn
Pat O'Brien of Paramus bought his wife, Gina, a dark chocolate assortment at Hanna Kraus Candy in Paramus for Valentine's Day. "I always come here for chocolates," he said. "I've been coming here for 35 years."
Pat O'Brien of Paramus bought his wife, Gina, a dark chocolate assortment at Hanna Kraus Candy in Paramus for Valentine's Day. "I always come here for chocolates," he said. "I've been coming here for 35 years." Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
"She always gets a single red rose for every occasion calling for flowers," Ralph Giannella of Allendale said. "That's how we started when we didn't have two nickels to rub together. Today I've got two nickels but we keep the tradition going."
"She always gets a single red rose for every occasion calling for flowers," Ralph Giannella of Allendale said. "That's how we started when we didn't have two nickels to rub together. Today I've got two nickels but we keep the tradition going." Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Sara and Marco show off their latest creation at Francesca Pizzeria, located in Glen Rock. The Elmwood Park shop created pizzas just like it.
Sara and Marco show off their latest creation at Francesca Pizzeria, located in Glen Rock. The Elmwood Park shop created pizzas just like it. Photo Credit: Sal Reina

Whether it was a heart-shaped pizza or a box of chocolates, Bergen County felt the love this Valentine's Day. Daily Voice popped into flower shops, candy stores and pizzerias to catch up with those who are celebrating.

When given the choice between chocolate or pizza, Melissa Bazzarelli from Fort Lee's Franco's Metro says it's an easy decision.

"I prefer the pizza, hands down," Bazzarelli said.

Three years ago, Bazzarelli had started a new relationship when the holiday came up. She was hesitant to do anything too extravagant and as Assistant Manager at Franco's, she decided a heart-shaped pizza would be appropriate.

Since then, her boyfriend became her fiancée and heart-shaped pizzas have become a tradition at Franco's Metro in Fort Lee.

The love for pizza isn't exclusive to couples.

"Last year there was a girl who was with her friend they said 'We’re single, we’re just going to do pizza,'” Bazzarelli said.

But Franco’s is not the only North Jersey establishment that sells the novelty pies.

In Elmwood Park, Adam Vuksanic had been cranking out heart-shaped pizzas all day Tuesday.

“It’s been non-stop,” Vuksanic, co-owner of Francesca Pizza and Pasta in Elmwood Park, said following the Valentine’s Day lunch rush.

This Valentine’s day marked the first time Vuksanic has made the novelty pies in Elmwood Park. The pizza shop opened in September. But for a few years, Francesca Pizza and Pasta in Glen Rock has been a go-to spot for heart-shaped pies, he said.

Vuksankic said he fulfilled a few orders for people who wanted the pies delivered to their significant others at work.

“It is a novelty thing,” he said. “It is like the same thing if you got a box of chocolates, but you get a heart-shaped pizza.”

For some, the traditional gift of chocolates or roses works well enough.

Ralph Giannella, 80, of Allendale got his wife a single red rose at Allendale Flowers for Valentine's Day.

"She always gets a single red rose for every occasion calling for flowers," he said. "That's how we started when we didn't have two nickels to rub together. Today I've got two nickels but we keep the tradition going."

Pat O'Brien of Paramus bought his wife, Gina, a dark chocolate assortment at Hanna Kraus Candy in Paramus for Valentine's Day.

"I always come here for chocolates," he said. "I've been coming here for 35 years."

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