Here at PAD we are always looking to expand our repertoire and bring you the most interesting brands, with the best stories behind their creation. As such, we're really excited to announce our first foray into food with the arrival of a range of delectable artisan chocolate bars from New York brand the Mast Brothers.

The company was founded in 2007 by brothers Michael and Rick Mast. Formed through a desire to bring a new kind of chocolate experience to America and the world, the brothers were steadfast with their approach, with the philosophy 'from bean to bar' at the forefront of production. Using fine cocoa and carefully selected natural flavourings, Michael and Rick sought to re-awaken palates, keeping an emphasis on clarity of flavour. 

Going to such lengths to source the best cocoa led the brothers on an adventure. In May 2011, they chartered the three-masted Black Seal, a 70-foot schooner, to sail from Cape Cod to the Dominican Republic in order to pick up 20 tons of cocoa beans. On 14 June 2011 the Black Seal arrived back at the Red Hook waterfront in Brooklyn, where a group of deckhands and makers of artisanal chocolate unloaded the cocoa beans from the schooner. It was the first time a sailing ship had unloaded commercial cargo in New York since 1939, according to one city official. 

The cocoa currently used by Mast is specially selected from Madagascar, Peru, Brazil, and Tanzania. Each bar is wrapped in beautifully designed paper, and gives a satisfying snap when broken, the sign of quality, well tempered chocolate. 

Their main objective was, and remains, to produce a chocolate with meticulous craftsmanship, innovative flavours, and inspirational simplicity. In their range, flavours such as mint, vanilla, sea salt, brown sugar and coffee are blended with dark or milk chocolate.

They don't leave their range there though. Always rising to a challenge and surprising our taste-buds, Mast Brothers have pushed boundaries of flavours by introducing adventurous smoke infused, olive oil, sheep and goat milk blends to the range. 

We can definitely say we've had our eyes opened to new flavours and textures in chocolate. From their beginnings in New York, and expansion to open further flagship locations in LA and London, we're looking forward to seeing what's next for Mast and this pioneering pair.

Shop our initial collection of five stunning flavours from Mast - Dark, Mint, Milk, Sea Salt (our favourite!) and Vanilla - or if you're in Edinburgh and would like to stop by the PAD store for a taster sample we'd be delighted to see you!