NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Chocolate has long been considered an aphrodisiac.

In 1861, the Cadbury company was the first to offer chocolate in heart-shaped boxes, but these days chocolates on Valentine’s Day aren’t just for lovers.

A woman named Sharon was buying the Hungarian confections at Kron Chocolatier in Greenvale for her mother-in-law as well as her husband.

“I think it’s just an act of consideration, that’s all. Something sweet and something nice; just a gesture,” she said.

Customer Mike Shapiro was buying for his wife, kids, office staff and close friends.

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“It makes people feel better, I think chemically it is proven to make people feel better,” Shapiro said.

At Lazar’s Chocolate in Greenvale, one woman, named Despina, was buying chocolates for her four young sons to give to their grandparents.

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“It makes people smile and everyone should have a piece of chocolate every day, it would make for a happier world,” she said.

Another woman said she was buying chocolates for her kids.

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“They love chocolate, it makes them smile and it makes me smile too,” she said.

The National Retail Federation said Americans spend more than $17 billion on Valentine’s Day, including $3 million on candy.

Marnie Ives, owner of Kron Chocolatier, said she is expecting 300 customers to visit her store Friday.

“Our signature Hungarian item is our Budapest truffle – it’s a dark chocolate cream truffle,” Ives said of the treat, which sells for $45 a pound.

Mark Lazar, owner of Lazar’s Chocolate, said the reason chocolate is so popular is because “everything’s made with love.”

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