Ok... I HAVE to swear....

Brad Churchill
12/21/15 16:38:42
527 posts


In a letter posted on their website, Rick Mast writes, and I quote (pointing out highlights):

"Mast Brothers is a 100% bean to bar chocolate maker. Every chocolate bar made by our company that you have lovingly purchased since we opened our first factory, including those purchased for the coming holidays, was made "bean to bar". Any claim or insinuation otherwise is simply false."


"And while we never claimed to make all our chocolate exclusively from bean to bar in those early days, we did describe ourselves as a bean-to-bar chocolate maker. Since we were in fact making chocolate from bean to bar, we honestly thought we could say as much. We sincerely apologize if you or any of our other loyal customers feel they were misled about the chocolate we made when our company was just getting off the ground."


Literally, there may be some truth to it.  However, taken in the context that it's written... Well, here's the summary  "Look how stupid people are!  Every bar of chocolate we sold had our name on it and was represented as made by us - even the stuff we bought and melted into molds with our name on it.  You people are suckers!!!!"

I wish to personally thank the Mast Brothers Chocolate company for making Choklat look like a saint here in Calgary.


Brad Churchill

Clay Gordon
12/21/15 16:59:59
1,680 posts


IMNSHO: Calgary is not Williamsburg, or even Manhattan.

It's not about you , so crowing about reflected sainthood is out of place and only reflects badly on you.

Why do I say this?

There are far larger issues at hand, especially with the media coverage on The Guardian and other outlets focusing on price and how $10 is too much to pay. Comparing Mast w/ Hershey and Green & Black's and not understanding why the comparison is ludicrous. One good question is whether or not this will have an impact on the sales of other craft chocolate makers. NYTimes even says that this could bring the whole Brooklyn craft food "movement" down. 

I know that the author of one of the follow-up articles is horrified at how the story has been twisted. Fact is, we are no longer in control of it and it may be impossible to put the genie back into the bottle. Will it destroy trust? Some chocolate makers think so.

I am not interested in starting a flame war here on TheChocolateLife. If you want to take up the issue in The Calgary Herald or The Calgary Sun, I think either or both are more appropriate outlets.

There are some very substantive issues at play here and I would really like the focus to stay on those issues. Here's just one of my takes .

:: Clay

clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Brad Churchill
12/21/15 17:33:35
527 posts


So what you're saying then, is when a chocolatier out here lies for years about what they do, just like the Mast Brothers did, it doesn't matter, but when someone does it in YOUR neck of the woods it does?   My nemesis out here has made a hell of a lot more money (millions of dollars more) lying to people here in Western Canada than the Mast Brothers have, and it doesn't matter where the lies are propogated they are still lies, and they still affect EVERYONE in the industry.

You can continue to make theChocolateLife about you and your own personal agenda (just like you are doing above), or you can respect and recognize that there is a lot of deception in the industry regardless of where you go, even if it isn't in your back yard, and that the opinions of others (such as me) matter.

Will the expose bring the whole Brookly craft "movement" down?  Anyone who believes that is just plain foolish.  Not everyone reads the New York Times.  Not everyone reads Facebook.  Not everyone will read this forum or other articles on Mast.  

In my not so humble opinion (which is the topic of this forum), very little will happen.  Brooklyn isn't the center of the universe, and people will still buy their chocolate.  The only thing that will most likely happen is that the Mast brothers will no longer be the darlings of print and social media, and the demand for their wares will decrease to a point where they can actually make enough to keep up with demand, instead of buying someone else's.

What's most discouraging though, is that unless stiff penalties are legislated and imposed for lying to consumers, in a few years, someone else will step up to the plate and do it again.  Remember Noka?  Well.... Mast is the new Noka.

Best Regards

Brad Churchill


updated by @brad-churchill: 12/21/15 17:38:39
Clay Gordon
12/22/15 09:58:49
1,680 posts

Brad -

PLEASE do not put words into my mouth. What I am asking - as I have been asking consistently for years - is that you respect my desires about how to comport yourself on TheChocolateLife. We have had many private discussions on this topic.

You can make exactlly the points you want to make. But you don't have to bluster. You may not care what other people think of you, but I can tell you from personal experience that people will pay more attention to what you have to say if you aren't so confrontational.

That's it.


Now I realize that you are frustrated about people in your market (and elsewhere) deliberately misrepresenting what they do. Saying they make 100% of their chocolate from the bean when they are buying couverture and remelting. And I realize that you are happy that someone is calling the Mast Bros out.

BUT one of the reasons people paid attention to the DallasFood-org articles is that they are written dispassionately. If they were written any other way they would probably have been dismissed out of hand. Now Scott has been having fun in social media tweaking the Brothers but the articles stand apart from that. Which is important to remember.

Please believe me when I say that I have every motivation to root out and expose deceptive practices in the craft chocolate world and elsewhere. Although I am not explicitly mentioned in many of the articles, I have been involved in several - and in some very important ways. There are huge media forces like the NY Times weighing in on this subject and they have the ability to shape the narrative in ways that are beyond our control.

I have been doing, and will continue to do, the best I can to see how we can use the firestorm that has been kicked up in positive ways.

If I were you, I'd write a reasoned op ed to the local papers and figure out how to make this a positive for your business.

clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/

updated by @clay: 12/22/15 10:53:53


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