Coming fresh out of college with a background in literature and philosophy, I am used to the task of trying to answer perplexing questions at an existential level, such as, â€œWhat is the meaning of life?â€ or â€œWhat is happiness?â€ The former, I am still working on, but the latter, due to my recent exploration of The Happy Chocolatier, has possibly been answered.
Located on Route 2A/119 in Acton, Massachusetts, The Happy Chocolatier is a shop owned and operated by Paul McMahon. â€œThe Happy Chocolatier was born from a love of chocolateâ€ and, as Paul genially admitted, â€œa few burnt pans.â€ Having a background in the chocolate business (as a former marketing director for Hebert Candies, now in Shrewsbury, Mass. and formerly in Bolton) and being an avid food addict, you could say Paul knows a thing or twoâ€¦ maybe three about chocolate. In pursuit of his own happiness in October 2011, Paul decided to leave his long time job and opened his briefcase full of ideas with a store soon to follow.
From malted milk balls to turtles, truffles to caramelsâ€”all the normal goodies of a chocolate store make their appearance; chocolate-covered espresso beans, pretzels, and Oreos, (which are not only amazing), but one of the stores top sellers. However, the main chocolate delight and attraction are Paulâ€™s original creations, â€œFudge Cubzeâ„¢.â€
What makes these cubes so special? Well, first off, they are smooth and rich just like fudge should be; plus, they come in all different flavors, including peanut butter, cookies and cream, cranberry walnut and more. Secondly, the way they are wrapped is pure genius. Circling back to our question â€œWhat is happiness?â€, each individual Fudge Cubzeâ„¢ tries to answer that very question. Upon unwrapping each Fudge Cubzeâ„¢ there is a small quote inside that follows the storeâ€™s epithet; â€œEat Chocolate, Be Happy.â€ Some of the notable quotes are, â€œSome pursue happinessâ€”others create itâ€ and â€œBe happy. Itâ€™s one way of being wise.â€ What makes some of the quotes even more special is that some were penned by local teens and pre-teens.
After getting the grand tour of the store from Paul, I started to realize that there is something much sweeter to his shop than just chocolate. As he points out, itâ€™s more about the experience than anything else. At the end of the day, for Paul, itâ€™s seeing the little nose smudges on the glass in front of viewing area where chocolate is assembled that makes everything worthwhile. Looking at it from this perspective, the chocolate is a means to a much greater endâ€”happiness. Every time someone opens a box or wrapper from The Happy Chocolatier, they are getting something more than chocolate, they are getting something that will fill their bellies with joy and their hearts with happiness.
Author: Andy Bass
The Happy Chocolatier
509 Nagog Park, Acton, Massachusetts