Based in Brooklyn, New York, this brotherly duo of artisan chocolatiers specialize in handmade chocolate bars. They are doing it right.
Rick and Michael Mast make their chocolate starting by roasting cacao beans that they source directly from family farms in faraway lands such as Venezuela, Madagascar, and Ecuador. There are no robotic arms and conveyor belts here, chocolate is prepared and poured into individual molds by hand. They even wrap each finished bar of chocolate in gold foil and paper by hand!
This all sounds great and probably gives a warm feeling to foodie hipsters (especially once they know that the chocolate is made by a bearded, plastic rimmed glasses-wearing, classically trained musician) as they plunk down their $9 and change for a bar (sold online in variety packs of 10 bars for $92.00), but the reason why Mast Brothers Chocolate is doing it right is because they’re doing what they love and they love what they’re doing. They’re following their passion.
In the video above, the brothers describe how they take pride in what they do– in their craft. They focus on traditional skills and techniques that eschews speed and production rates in favor of quality and attention to detail (just the clip in the video of them wrapping each bar with foil and paper made my hands feel like cramping up). Their passion is making chocolate their way, not how others tell them chocolate production should be done, and that’s what they’re doing.
No one likely ever said that making chocolate was a noble or a particularly harrowing occupation, yet I would consider these guys courageous. It’s easy to watch videos like the one above and feel inspired to take the leap and follow your personal passion. When it comes down to it though, most people will continue living a life that’s familiar (even if it’s not comfortable) in lieu of risking failure by following their dreams into the unknown. The Mast brothers took that leap. They bought equipment, changed their lifestyles to learn their craft, and went for it despite the risk. That takes courage.
For every one of these stories of success by following one’s passion, there are undoubtedly hundreds (if not thousands) of stories of failure. The thing is, success or failure is really only a measure of how things end, but it’s the journey that matters most. Ultimately, in the end you die (fail?), it’s during the journey that you’re really living.