These two brothers began their artisanal chocolate journey back in 2006. In their apartment, Rick and Michael Mast from Iowa used only a homemade machine to produce cacao beans. Over time, they cultivated their craft and have since found a home in Brooklyn, New York. Their factory and storefront share the same space and guests have the ability to see much of the machinery fully exposed.
They have partnered with family farms and co-ops in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Venezuela and Madagascar and have a direct relationship with the farmers there. “Very often, the farmers don’t get to taste the chocolate that is made from their hard work and very often the chocolate makers don’t get to taste the fruit that is harvested to make their great chocolate” says Rick. The Mast Brothers make it a point to do just that.
They continually strive to make the best chocolate they can, with the best ingredients available. They even chartered a ship to sail beans from the Dominican Republic to Brooklyn so they could be a part of the shipping process. So rad! Did I mention the ingredients for their chocolate are simply cane sugar and cacao?
All of their chocolate bars are made completely from scratch-beginning with the roasting and grinding, all the way to the packaging. Each bar is hand-wrapped in golden foil with incredible ornate patterns and colors. The patterns are all designed by friends, family and crew of the Mast Brothers.
MBC have also collaborated with Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Crown Maple Syrup, Anderson Almonds and Maine Sea Salt to produce some of the most unique combinations. Rich Mast said, “Chocolate should be something that connects you to the ingredients, where the flavors are complex and connected to the region that they’re from. You understand how it’s made, and someone in your neighborhood makes it.”
One of my favorites is their limited edition Vanilla & Smoke bar. It is made with smoked cacao from Papua New Guinea and bourbon vanilla beans from Madagascar. It is so smooth, with a subtle hint of smoke and toasted marshmallow. The quality of the ingredients is undeniable.
We offer their Papua New Guinea, Cocoa Nibs, Crown Maple, Stumptown Coffee, Vanilla & Smoke (limited reserve) and Dark Chocolate with Almonds. They truly are masters of their craft and we are so happy to be able to have their chocolate in the shop.
Thank you for the photo of the brothers, Mindy Best.
Article & Photos by Asta Karalis