Mast Brothers Chocolate in Brooklyn

Pigment’s Online Store Manager, Jenny, took to the East Coast for a little business + pleasure. She visited one of our most favorite chocolatiers in the country – Mast Brothers in Brooklyn.

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Williamsburg in Brooklyn is a perfect spot for Mast Brothers Chocolates. Laid back, yet plenty of “cool” and style to go around, reflects perfectly what Mast Brothers is and makes! It was a smoldering hot end of summer day, but inside the Mast Brothers showroom and factory it was delightfully fresh and cool. Their showroom offers samples of all the chocolates (which range from around the world where the beans are directly sourced, thus the names of each flavor), their delectable hand-made desserts and a variety of cookbooks and literature.

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 Stationery made from the leftover packaging (which is OMG gorgeous). Tasty and environmentally savvy!

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 Doing creative stuff with chocolate. 

The cocoa beans that make Mast Brothers chocolates, are harvested and dried locally in locations around the world. The brothers visit all of the farms where their beans are cultivated and cared for, making each farm and location a very special part of what the Mast Brothers are creating in their chocolate. The beans come to the Mast Bros dried out and are easily crushed into a powdery cocoa (as Arto shows below), which smells terrific and tastes rich with deep cocoa flavors. In tasting the actual source of the chocolaty goodness, that the amazing & unique flavors you get in each Mast Bro bar, really comes almost entirely from the bean itself, of course, with a little added love (and prob a ‘lil sugar).

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The aftermath of hours of churning cocoa beans into chocolate. This batch almost in its final hour. 

After the churning process, the chocolates are stored as big bricks where the age gracefully. Then once matured and in need, the bricks are melted down and poured into molds to make the classic chocolate bar rectangle. Here is also where any additional ingredients are added (almonds down below).

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Then these babies are put in the fridge, popped out of their mold and then wrapped, which used to happen by hand (every single bar), but recently now a vintage machine gives the team a hand. Still, many people come together to make each batch of Mast Brothers chocolate.

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At Mast Bros, you really sense these guys are a family and love working together to take care of their chocolate babies. A lot of heart and effort goes into understanding and crafting something of real quality. If you haven’t had one of these artisanal delights, now’s your chance. | Find Mast Brother’s chocolate HERE online and in store at Pigment.

Find the golden ticket! ‘Til next time! – Jenny

 

 

We Are…. Odd Daughter Paper Co.

Hi friends! So happy to be back at it with this series. Miss Katie Hart with Odd Daughter Paper Co. is as much of a delight as her paper press designs are. A Southern California native, Katie followed her sister down to San Diego and continues to be inspired by surrounding native plants and landscaping. We popped over to her charming little house where she creates and designs all her paper goods.

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Where did the name “Odd Daughter” come from? 

“Odd Daughter was actually my mom’s nickname in middle school. Her maiden name was Evenson, and one of her teachers cleverly started calling her Odd Daughter… and the name stuck!  I always thought it was kind of fun + quirky. When I think about when my mom was growing up, correspondence was so much more personal. When she went away to camp, she wrote her parents a letter, rather than simply sending a text or email. As much as I love today’s conveniences, I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of handwritten communication– which, of course, deepens my love for paper + stationery! ”

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What would you say inspires you and your designs? 

“I am incredibly inspired by color and pattern. I absolutely love the landscaping and native plants of San Diego + Los Angeles. Succulents, cactus, & bougainvillea are inspiring to no end! I’m also inspired by different forms of hand lettering, and love hand painted signage.”

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How did you find/come to know about Pigment? 

“When I was first thinking about moving to San Diego, the lovely Jamie Street of Rad + In Love sent me a list of her favorite spots. Pigment was on the list, and once I stepped inside, I knew I’d be happy in San Diego. Seriously.”

 

In which direction do you see Odd Daughter branching out? 

“I have lots of hopes for Odd Daughter! I just designed my first custom wedding invitations, and am interested in branding projects as well. Mostly, though, I’m just eager to continue growing my stationery line! I’m planning to have new cards + prints available soon.”

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What do you think about when you hear the word “community”?

“When I think about community, I picture completely different people coming together and supporting one another. I’ve had great experiences with the design community — with creative people giving advice and helping me out! I appreciate that San Diego is small enough that there really is a community feel and that people are eager to support one another.”

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Look for Odd Daughter Paper Co. products and Pigment online, and in store. And you can check out her latest projects and what she’s up to here.

 

photos by Chantal Pasag

I Like Your Big Basin

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The end of Summer is here, but that doesn’t mean camping season is over. The kids are back in school, but the weather is still warm. Big Basin Campground is a perfect little patch of Redwood Trees in Boulder Creek, California, just 45 minutes away from Santa Cruz. The weather is warm there now, but it’s great to visit in Spring as the many waterfalls in the area are gushing after the Winter season.

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The winding road to get to Big Basin from Highway 101 is like traveling back to the 70s. The roads were nearly empty besides the handful of summer camps, a family of deer and this one lonesome stop sign.

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There is tons of hiking throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains running all the way down to the coast, if you’re feeling an extra pep in your step.

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Wilson, the camping French Bulldog 

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Just because you are in the woods, doesn’t mean you can’t eat like kings. We cooked some fresh salmon and asparagus and, of course, followed up with the camping must-have, s’mores!

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The night brings games and drinks (including lots of tequila), the ultimate camping combo.

Big Basin Campin-7Big Basin Campin-15Big Basin National Park is such an easy get-away in Northern California, and while Big Sur is always a favorite, the calmness and serene setting of these wise old trees just can’t be beat.

Cheers to another road trip!

 

We Are……Town and Fields

Boy has it been awhile since we’ve revisited our “We Are” series. Well, we’re excited to kick it back off with the ever-so-talented artist collective and local San Diegans, Town and Fields. The creative group is comprised of Phillip, Chelsea and Steve. Together, they form a team that is eager to bring good design and community together – so of course, we loved them!

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From right to left: Steve, Chelsea and Phillip

Where did the name Town and Fields come from?

Steve: “The name Town & Fields was derived from the idea of supporting our creative community. That community is in a sense is made up of individuals or groups of ppl that believe and share similar passions.  I get stoked when I meet other creatives and to hear how they’ve developed and continue to grow in what their passionate about. Town & Fields supports those who explore their passions in the “fields” to develop their skill/craft and in turn come back to pour into a community, a “town”. On a grand scheme of things, San Diego is our “town”, we love the approach of creating an environment that is all about bringing our community together. We hope to be an extended arm to help others network and build the creative culture in San Diego.”

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Someone’s been shopping at Pigment // Odd Daughter Co. post card and Bradley Mountain Journal 

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Precious Patrick – the Town and Fields side-kick

What inspired you to start creating a light fixture line?

Chelsea: “Going back to when we were first married, Philip and I both had this desire to create. I started playing around with any sort of craft I could come up with and he  started making steampunk lamps out of wooden boxes and trinkets. (Growing up, he learned the in’s and out’s of electrical work as his dad was an electrician.) One day he came up with the hardback book lamp, decided to list it in the shop, and that was that. We kept getting requests for more, so we kept the shop stocked with them.  During this journey, we both were refining our skills, discovering our sense of style, figuring out how to pay attention to trends, and getting involved in the community around us. Eventually, we decided to run the shop together. We wanted to not only carry more of a selection of light fixtures, but fixtures that we would want in our home. So really, it was a slow and natural thing that just happened. I always tell people that we started our business on accident. Neither one of us woke up one morning with the brilliant idea of starting a lighting shop, but we went with it and it’s been great. Add Steve into the mix a few years later and we’re seeing a similar pattern. We never had the idea of running a brand with someone else, but it came up one day and it just made sense, so we decided to go with it full force.”

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 What draws you to San Diego’s North Park?

Philip: “I really like the creative and entrepreneurial energy that is apparent on the streets. It’s just as lively as the Gaslamp District, but in a more authentic and communal sort of way.”

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 When you hear the word “community” what comes to mind?

Chelsea: “When I hear the word community, I picture people coming together. But not just for the sake of being in the same place, but to have meaning and purpose. I think that concept is intentional, yet still general so that it doesn’t put anything or anyone in a box, nor does it leave anyone out. We really want to that to be a big part of Town & Fields as we move forward. Because we know that without community, there wouldn’t be any point to what we are doing.”

Town & Field-1 Town & Field-22What do you see in the future for Town and Fields?

Steve: “I try not to get too ahead of myself when dreaming over Town & Fields, but honestly I see the same vision we’ve created here in San Diego getting to other cities and having multiple locations.”

Look for Town & Fields products at Pigment online and instore very soon! In the meantime, check them out here and support your local designers!

 

photos by Chantal Pasag