The bearded brothers who rocked the chocolate world with their Brooklyn factory have crossed the ocean to set up in London. It’s their first shop outside of New York and they’ve chosen to take on London’s already thriving chocolate scene. But just like in New York they’ve centred on the
hipsters young, affluent market.
Setting up in Shoreditch alongside other edgy brands they’ve filled the window with brimming hessian bags of cocoa beans and a neon strip light sign. Inside the walls are white or exposed brick (very East London) and white cubes run around two edges with more in the middle displaying the chocolate and a small sit-up bar along another edge. The main serving counter fills up the far side of the shop and coffee machines and chemexes sit behind a glass cabinet of ganaches. The back wall is glass, behind which you can see the cocoa grinders turning, bearded chocolate makers in their whites and industrial shelves piled high with huge slabs of plastic-wrapped chocolate.
On the opening day they were giving out cocktails and sampling bars and their spread. The spread is probably the best I’ve ever tasted. The hot chocolate is rich but served in small takeaway cups for £5 a piece not the cheapest in town. It is, of course, made with their chocolate which sells at £8 bar. More alarming was the single chocolates that were priced at £3 each. No significant discount applied by buying a full box. I’m hoping they’ll bring across some of the baked goods I tried on my last visit to their Brooklyn HQ in 2012.
It’s brilliant for the chocolate world to have a maker in town. Most people still are so detached from the process of making chocolate; hopefully Mast Brothers will help to open people’s eyes to why good chocolate shouldn’t be cheap and make chocolate lovers more conscious of the subtlety of flavours between origins. Good chocolate does not just taste of chocolate.