Team AN took a trip down to Shoreditch today for the launch of the eagerly anticipated Mast Brothers shop in Redchurch Street, Shoreditch. A high-end chocolate shop opening on Valentine’s Day – it’s a pretty good hook, right?
The two brothers, Michael and Rick Mast, opened their first shop in Williamsburg NYC in 2007, and the London flagship store is only the second anywhere on the planet. We were lucky enough to get to the shop in Brooklyn last year and it sure is an inspiring space, with sacks of raw produce packed high and a clear view into the production area where young chocolateers work away in their whites.
According to website Inc.com, Mast Brothers ‘sources its organic cocoa beans from locations including Belize and Papua New Guinea, and ships them to Brooklyn by sailboat. There, it roasts, shells and grinds the beans together with just cane sugar, ignoring the palm oils and other additives found in much commercial chocolate’.
“Like steak, we kind of cook our beans medium rare,” Rick Mast told a group at the World Science Festival, mid last year. Medium rare means 15 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, apparently. “Everything’s better medium-rare,” he said.
Though the products are priced at the high end of the market (around £8 a bar), like the brothers’ fine beards, we imagine they’ll fit in pretty well on Redchurch Street. We were also totally fascinated by the visual aspect of the store. Against whitewashed walls, marble surfaces and black and white signage, it’s the brightly coloured chocolate packaging that adds splashes of colour into the room.
A stroke of genius? You betcha!