Brothers Rick and Michael Mast are very cool. They are from Brooklyn and have long beards and wear bespoke suits sometimes and aprons other times. The reason they wear aprons is because they make chocolate, which is also very cool. The chocolate bars come in patterned, geometry-heavy packaging that looks like it should be sold on a very cool Zooey Deschanel-themed Etsy page.
The Mast Brothers are your super cool manic pixie dream chocolatiers, and they are setting up a temporary installation in Austere, a super cool Scandinavian design studio downtown that was conceived as a “magazine you can walk into.” In case it isn’t yet clear—this is super cool.
Jokes aside, the Mast brothers make good chocolate (despite what that one Slate article said) and they have been instrumental in popularizing the bean-to-bar movement in America. The brothers source a lot of their cacao from organic co-ops, and the more people in the food industry who care about their sourcing the better. The new Toasted Milk bar they’re selling at Austere sounds super tasty too: Milk is dehydrated into a powder before being roasted and folded into the chocolate. The packaging was inspired by Swedish candy wrappers from the 70s and 80s—the stuff Austere founder Fredrik Carlström remembers from his childhood in Stockholm.
The shop within a shop was brought together by Site Specific LA, a contemporary exhibition of Los Angeles design curated by online magazine Sight Unseen. There will also be a showcase of new furniture and products by L.A.-based indie designers like AQQ Design, B.Zippy, Ben Medansky, Brendan Ravenhill, Eric Trine, Jonathan Zawada, Michael Felix, Only Love is Real, Ouli, Tanya Aguiniga, and Waka Waka.
The Mast Brothers will be opening their first retail outlet in the Arts District sometime in 2016. Until then, you can get your design-forward chocolate fix at Austere on Wednesday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Monday-Tuesday by appointment only. Have a super cool time.
Austere, 912 South Hill Street, 844-287-8373 or austere.co