The young and young-at-heart alike get eggstatic over Easter chocolates, but did you know there’s a huge variety made right here in Brooklyn? In this post, we’re merging your chocolate crave with some neighborhood faves to look at the areas these local chocolatiers call home, sweet home.
Red Hooked on Bean-to-Bar chocolate
Made in Red Hook, Raaka is inspired by the flavors of unroasted cocoa beans. Raaka’s scent-imental beginnings were based on Founder, Ryan Cheney’s love for companies with a social mission and fascination for low-temperature chocolate making to create a more equitable global society.
The Raaka team also includes Nate Hodge – a musician and gastronomist who aptly personifies Red Hook’s shedding of its rough roots image to a new demographic of young artistic innovators. Under Nate’s influence, Raaka oozes a lust for exotic flavors and ground-breaking processes.
These days artistic and entrepreneurial types tend to congregate in this industrial and isolated maritime neighborhood. A noticeably absent entertainment scene and lack of direct subway line make Red Hook a quieter Brooklyn waterfront enclave that could be worthy of a long-term investment with the median sale price at $227,889.
Raw with BK Pride
Bushwick is bustling with newness and the startup shine can be seen in the dive bars, bodegas and gallery spaces reinventing the area’s iconic loft buildings. But as Fine and Raw demonstrates – Bushwick can be like a vintage leather coat which despite its trendy surface, still has the murmur of a substantive and rich heartbeat. Their hot chocolate ($4 standard, $5 large) is prepared using 72% organic Madagascar chocolate and served unsweetened. If you want the full blast of fruit and berry flavors found in dark Madagascar chocolate, go for it unadulterated. It’s thick, but not sludge-like.
Their loft space includes a glass-enclosed chocolate factory in the back, so you can watch the choreography of how the chocolate is made as the aromas dance around your nose.
The median home value in Bushwick also tastes sweet at $638,800 despite a 7.1% increase in the last year. Now may be the time to invest as it’s set to rise by 7.4% in the next year. Rental median is $2,400.
A Mast-see in Williamsburg
There’s no shortage of bikes, brunch and beards in Williamsburg as the neighborhood continues to stay true to its hipster label. So it’s no surprise foodie brothers Rick and Michael Mast started Mast Brothers chocolate right in the heart of the artsy and lofty neighborhood.
Just like Williamsburg’s street murals, Mast Brothers has been eye-catching and cutting edge for years. Since its founding in 2007, the brothers have turned the simple concept of chocolate into an obsession. Their chocolate is made exclusively from cocoa pods imported from the Dominican Republic plus cane sugar. That’s it. The secret is in the technique. It’s quite impressive when you consider the long ingredients lists on other bars: lecithin, milk solids, palm oil.
Williamsburg property costs $1,161 per square foot which is higher than the New York City average of $585. The median price of homes sold is $648,750. Median rent price is $2,900 while the median across New York City is $2,425. The hipster price tag does come at a cost, but as an investment – its high returns are not going anywhere anytime soon!