Indulgence Meets Innovation: Buffalo’s New Chocolate Haven


Location: 799 Seneca St Suite D-1, Buffalo, NY 14210 


Client: Blue Table Chocolates (Ben Johnson)
Architecture & Design: Arch&Type (Seth Amman and Adam McCullough)
Millwork Fabrication: McCullough Design and Mark Amman

Parametric 3D Modeling: Mariella Hirschoff
Parametric Programming: Dan Vrana and Wade Georgi (University at Buffalo) Parametric Tile Fabrication (University at Buffalo Students): Mariella Hirschoff, Naiara Mares, Raul Nieto, Tavian Swick, Fazal Khan, Jonathan Reyes, John Archilla Parametric Tile Fabrication Location: University at Buffalo, School of Architecture SMART Lab

Metal Fabrication: Buffalo Niagara Weldworks
Building Owner: Larkin Development Group at Millrace Commons
General Contractor: Pike Construction Services
Bespoke Lighting: Tala

Buffalo, NY, has a new gem that combines the allure of chocolate with innovative architectural design. Blue Table Chocolates, helmed by artisan chocolatier Ben Johnson, has transformed a small 780-square-foot space into a luxurious workshop and retail store. This project, a testament to the power of local collaboration and cutting-edge design, is a unique addition to Buffalo’s commercial landscape.

A Collaborative Masterpiece

The creation of this chocolate haven was a collaborative effort involving local architects, designers, craftsmen, student interns, and contractors. Arch&Type, the architectural firm led by Seth Amman and Adam McCullough, spearheaded the project. They brought together a diverse team, including the firm owner’s family and colleagues from the University at Buffalo, to bring this vision to life.

The design process was inspired by the image of flowing, untempered chocolate. This inspiration materialized into a digitally modeled ceiling made of CNC-milled, hand-assembled, and painted pieces. The ceiling, visible through the front window, immediately draws customers into the space, setting the tone for an indulgent experience.

Innovative Design Elements

One of the most striking features of the space is the ceiling. Created with the help of student interns at the University at Buffalo’s digital fabrication lab, the ceiling features cascading golden pieces that mimic the flow of chocolate. This intricate design required both robotic precision and careful handcrafting, showcasing a blend of digital and traditional techniques.

The walls of the space are lime-washed, providing a soft, inviting backdrop that contrasts beautifully with the white-oak millwork. Custom-made mirrored displays are used to present the chocolates, giving the impression of an art gallery. These displays, along with brass detailing, were crafted by Buffalo Niagara Weldworks, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication.

Seamless Integration of Function and Art

A frameless plaster door with a brass base seamlessly blends into the walls, maintaining the focus on the workshop areas. This design choice ensures that the functional aspects of the space do not detract from the overall aesthetic. The workshop areas are not just for production; they also serve as venues for community classes, fostering a sense of connection and engagement with the local community.

The millwork was a family affair, with the architect’s father, a skilled craftsman and chemist, collaborating with one of the firm’s designers. This personal touch adds a layer of authenticity and warmth to the space, making it more than just a commercial venture but a celebration of local talent and craftsmanship.

Celebrating Buffalo’s Architectural Spirit

This project exemplifies the innovative spirit of Buffalo’s architectural community. By combining digital modeling, precision craftsmanship, and local collaboration, the team has created a space that is both distinctly Buffalo and refreshingly modern. The result is a unique environment where chocolate and architectural craft intersect, providing a sensory experience that is as visually stimulating as it is delicious.

The project was supported by Larkin Development Group at Millrace Commons, with Pike Construction Services serving as the general contractor. Bespoke lighting by Tala adds the finishing touch, enhancing the space’s luxurious feel.


Blue Table Chocolates’ new workshop and retail space in Buffalo is a testament to the power of local collaboration and innovative design. The project, led by Arch&Type, showcases how a small space can be transformed into an artistic celebration of chocolate through meticulous design and craftsmanship. This unique blend of indulgence and innovation sets a new standard for commercial interiors, making it a must-visit destination for both chocolate lovers and design enthusiasts alike.

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