No matter the weather, the glowing warmth of Matthew’s Chocolate Shop is a safe haven for the community of Hillsborough. There is a certain magic to the concoction of chocolates, and it is no surprise that Matt and his team have explored the depths of flavors and olfactory experiences in their treats. The smooth, velvety chocolate never fails to draw people in for a post-lunch snack. I believe that although the chocolate gets people’s foot through the door, Matt’s charisma and laughter brings them back. Every resident of Hillsborough, from the ones who can barely reach the top of the counter to those who have been a regular since Matt opened over a decade ago, knows how a much-needed truffle from Matt’s shop has gotten them through a hard day.

Halfway through the semester, the coronavirus pandemic ended my time in North Carolina. I was unable to continue photographing Matt. Instead, I turned my camera towards my loved ones. The movie below details my experience after coming home to Texas.