It’s no surprise that in the short time I’ve produced this column, yet another chocolate brand is being featured (remember Compartes?). Chocolate has gone noticeably upscale over the last decade, with many brands feeling more boutique-worthy than grocery store.
Mast Brothers was one of the first chocolate brands to take the lead, with brothers Rick and Michael launching their self-named company in 2007. Since then, they’ve grown rapidly, opening flagships in Brooklyn and London. It’s not difficult to see why so many chocolate lovers have flocked to their brand. While the crisp, simple packaging is a standout, they are just as passionate about the craftsmanship of their product.
You know that old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Well, you can throw that out the window because the packaging is what will first draw you into the Mast Brand. Interestingly enough, when Mast first started, they simply wrapped their chocolate in butcher paper. Later, they decided it needed something more and kept the butcher paper feel but added unique patterns with a serious pop. They’ve chosen to keep Mast a strictly family affair, designing every pattern themselves in-house.
Mast had been on my radar for awhile but I’d never seen the brand in-person. That all changed last week when I was at a gourmet food shop in Seattle and walked up to a shelf crammed with upwards of 50 chocolate brands. My eyes darted back and forth, looking for something beautiful and unique. While a lot of the other brands were busy, playing up the percentages of cacao and key ingredients, Mast Brothers took the lead with their simple, matte white labels affixed to the gorgeous wrapping. The bottom line: Mast Brothers just gets it when it comes to style — with one peek at their Instagram, you’ll see what I mean.
Mast Brothers employs a quiet confidence about their brand — their chocolate is such high quality that they don’t need to shout from the mountaintops about how great it is. Instead, they wrap it in simple yet thoughtful packaging that makes the chocolate buying experience feel like picking out a special little present, just because. And, isn’t that what the best brands have in common? They craft a memorable experience. It really comes down to how a brand makes us feel — and something as simple as a bar of chocolate has the power to make our day a little better.
P.S. If you’re in Brooklyn, Mast Brothers offers factory tours! How cool is that?!