Pigment's Online Store Manager, Jenny, took to the East Coast for a little business + pleasure. She visited one of our most favorite chocolatiers in the country - Mast Brothers in Brooklyn.
Williamsburg in Brooklyn is a perfect spot for Mast Brothers Chocolates. Laid back, yet plenty of "cool" and style to go around, reflects perfectly what Mast Brothers is and makes! It was a smoldering hot end of summer day, but inside the Mast Brothers showroom and factory it was delightfully fresh and cool. Their showroom offers samples of all the chocolates (which range from around the world where the beans are directly sourced, thus the names of each flavor), their delectable hand-made desserts and a variety of cookbooks and literature.
Stationery made from the leftover packaging (which is OMG gorgeous). Tasty and environmentally savvy!
Doing creative stuff with chocolate.
The cocoa beans that make Mast Brothers chocolates, are harvested and dried locally in locations around the world. The brothers visit all of the farms where their beans are cultivated and cared for, making each farm and location a very special part of what the Mast Brothers are creating in their chocolate. The beans come to the Mast Bros dried out and are easily crushed into a powdery cocoa (as Arto shows below), which smells terrific and tastes rich with deep cocoa flavors. In tasting the actual source of the chocolaty goodness, that the amazing & unique flavors you get in each Mast Bro bar, really comes almost entirely from the bean itself, of course, with a little added love (and prob a 'lil sugar).
The aftermath of hours of churning cocoa beans into chocolate. This batch almost in its final hour.
After the churning process, the chocolates are stored as big bricks where the age gracefully. Then once matured and in need, the bricks are melted down and poured into molds to make the classic chocolate bar rectangle. Here is also where any additional ingredients are added (almonds down below).
Then these babies are put in the fridge, popped out of their mold and then wrapped, which used to happen by hand (every single bar), but recently now a vintage machine gives the team a hand. Still, many people come together to make each batch of Mast Brothers chocolate.
At Mast Bros, you really sense these guys are a family and love working together to take care of their chocolate babies. A lot of heart and effort goes into understanding and crafting something of real quality. If you haven't had one of these artisanal delights, now's your chance. | Find Mast Brother's chocolate online and in store at Pigment.
Find the golden ticket! 'Til next time! - Jenny