A little late to the party, but I read with total fascination recently about Mast-gate, the expose and debunking of the myth building and narrative about the foundation of the Mast Brothers “bean to bar” artisan chocolate business.
If you haven’t seen it, the original and exhaustive 4 part blog post series entiled “What Lies Behind the Beards” on dallasfood.org is both riveting and painstaking in its detail and analysis.
It documents what was an open secret in the fine chocolate world, but unknown to the brands burgeoning consumer base. The author, Scott, persuasively argues that Mast Brothers are the Milli Vanilli of the chocolate world who claimed to be selling customers bean-to-bar in-house produced artisan chocolate while actually running a “Potemkin chocolate factory, churning out remolded, repackaged industrial couverture.” He concludes with “the Masts did not become pariahs in the fine chocolate world because of their beards, publicity, or product mediocrity. It was because of their lies.”