Mast Brothers Say ‘Basic Facts’ Were Lost During Chocolate-Melting Scandal

Not backing down. Photo: mastbrothers.com

Back in December 2015, chocolatiers the Mast Brothers came under foodie fire when a Texas blogger accused them of the high crime of remelting and repackaging industrial chocolate. Allegations laid out in a four-part blog series sent the internet into full (re-)meltdown mode, and the company responded somewhat tepidly by calling the allegations “simply false.” Now, sufficiently distanced from the decade’s number-one chocolate scandal, Mast is ready for its comeback narrative. In a conversation with Fortune, co-founder Rick Mast says that “basic facts got lost in all of this,” while the magazine adds that the company looks at the snafu as “fake news,” proving the recently popularized term has long since jumped the shark.

Despite all the hoopla created around the controversy, things are apparently looking up for Mast — which will now have its revenge. After expanding production capabilities at its Brooklyn Navy Yard facility, made possible by a recent investment round, the company will be able to increase its annual chocolate sales from $10 million to $100 million. But the company will also close its shops in Los Angeles and London, which it says it’s doing in order to double down on Brooklyn. Part of the goal, Mast says, is to be able to sell their products for more reasonable prices. The controversy exposed them to what they call the “Brooklyn bubble,” and possibly made them self-aware about their role in creating the snobby Brooklyn-food-artisan archetype. Not too much, however, as Mast says their goal is nothing less than “to reinvent the chocolate category” (or wheel).

Mast Brothers Say ‘Basic Facts’ Were Lost During Scandal