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fifteen minutes CUTLINE Peg and Larry Wilson operate The Chocolate Oasis in the subway beneath the Marriott Hotel in Rochester. Scott Jacobson/Post-Bulletin

p Peg Wilson of rural Rochester has owned the Chocolate Oasis beneath the Kahler Hotel for six years, running it with help from her husband, Larry Wilson. Today, it is expected to be an oasis for harried men racing to get a last-minute Valentine's Day present. After all, the way to a woman's heart is through chocolate. Or so Peg Wilson believes.

Is Valentine's Day your biggest day?

Well, the 13th and 14th (of February) would be the two biggest days. Christmas is big, but it's spread out.

Why is chocolate so big for Valentine's Day?

It's just that women love chocolate.

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Why?

Because it tastes so wonderful; it's really good. And there are some men who do stop here, they do like chocolate.

Is chocolate good for romance?

Probably.

(A female customer answered with a definite "Yes"!)

Throughout the year, who are your best customers, men or women?

Oh, I would say probably 75 percent women.

How about just before Valentine's Day?

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We do get some women, but yes, it shifts around (to 75 percent men).

"Women buy early, and men buy late," her husband added.

What will it be like the day before Valentine's Day?

Some people know what they want; some people take a while to look over all the chocolate. And some people just come up to take those pre-packed boxes.

How much chocolate do you eat in a year?

Gosh, I have no idea.

Do you eat chocolate for every break?

No, I try to eat healthy.

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It's not healthy?

You can't sit and eat it every day. The dark chocolate is the healthiest. The clinic has had an article that a little dark chocolate is good for you -- there are anti-oxidants in it that are good for the heart.

-- John Weiss

Know an interesting person willing to spend 15 minutes talking with a reporter in exchange for 15 minutes of fame? Call the city desk at 285-7729 or (507) 434-7350, or e-mail news@postbulletin.com.

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