I saw this video about New York based Mast Brothers Chocolate about a year or so ago, and have desperately wanted to visit their shop ever since. As someone who’s interested in starting their own business, I found the approach they discuss really inspirational. I love the romantic idealism of treating their business like a boys own adventure, and striving for something that feels nostalgic and hand made, as opposed to mass produced and uniform.
Anyway, yesterday afternoon I managed to satisfy my desire by paying their Williamsburgh shop a visit. I was hoping to take the factory tour they mention on the site, but alas they aren’t doing them at the moment as they are in the process of expanding their operation. However, when the lovely guy behind the counter saw we were a bit bummed out about not getting to do the tour, he snuck us in to have a look at their new space. It’s a really lovely big, open brick walled warehouse unit, but what hits you first is the smell. It’s like being in a chocolate cloud. I’m pretty sure I started to drool almost instantly. The room is filled will sacks of cocoa beans, a roasting oven, ‘conching’ drums (these heat and grind the beans for 3 days until the chocolate is beautifully smooth), and this awesome mad scientist-esque glass vacuum pump device that separates the cracked beans from the husk. It’s very cool, and feels really nicely old fashioned.