The hip brothers behind the cultishly adored Brooklyn-based chocalate brand Mast Brothers Chocolate opened their eagerly-awaited London chocolate factory on Saturday (just in time for Valentine's Day). Rick and Michael Mast welcomed visitors into a multi-use space where they can see the chocolate production process, buy chocolate bars and other treats, and even drink their chocolate.
Often synonymous with the Brooklyn craft movement, Mast Brothers Chocolate has found a home for its second location in Shoreditch, an East London neighborhood that has become a destination for hot new restaurants like The Clove Club and Lyle's. The February opening follows a Mast Brothers pop-up within the Ace Hotel (also in Shoreditch). "We decided to open in London because of a unique and strong connection with the city and the people," Rick Mast explains to Eater. "Londoners have always been huge fans of our chocolate and how we make it."
The space was designed in-house under the watchful eyes of the brothers and creative director Nathan Warkentin. "In everything we do, simplicity and honesty reign supreme," Rick Mast says of the design. "Everything about the design of this space is to showcase and connect people to chocolate making." Mast says he and Warkentin were "deeply influenced by new design approaches happening in East London."
As in Brooklyn, there is a unique focus on chocolate beverages at the London factory. At the chocolate brew bar, guests can have chocolate brewed with a siphon or served on tap as cold brew. Rick Mast tells the UK-based blog Chocolatier that "we're really passionate about... re-thinking and re-defining what chocolate as a beverage is about." Ultimately, the space and the Mast Brothers' vision is to connect Londoners more closely with their hands-on chocolate-making approach. "We are proud and thrilled to be London's first bean-to-bar chocolate maker," Mast says.
Eater sent photographer/A Lady in London blogger Julie Falconer to take a look around the new factory; here's what she saw.