Chocolatier, Claire Ariyan (not pictured), started our first conversation with a book called, Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, and told me she wanted to open a chocolate shop inspired by the book’s philosophy, in a building she and her husband, Steve, had recently acquired in Essex, CT. While we got to work on designing the retail and manufacturing spaces for the shop, we also gutted and created an apartment on the second floor of the old Colonial. Claire creates her handmade caramels and chocolates in the commercial kitchen to stock the shop for her lucky patrons. The shop, aptly named, Joy Chocolate Co., is filled with whimsy and color, on a darker background to let the product stand out.