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      Jefferson City bakery prepares for a sweet Valentine's Day

      A tray of chocolate-covered strawberries, ready for Valentine's Day.

      Crates upon crates of strawberries were stacked high in the back booths of Chez Monet, just waiting to be dipped in chocolate, on February 13.

      Joan Fairfax, the owner of the downtown Jefferson City cafe, said they're her best-seller -- first only to decadent pink-frosted, heart-shaped sugar cookies.

      Valentine's Day is easily her busiest day of the year, and she will come in as early as midnight to prepare orders for customers Thursday. She will have a couple of extra helpers to stay ahead of the madness, but will stay open as late as customers come in to pick up their dessert orders.