The Brooklyn Navy Yard announced today that Brooklyn-based chocolate maker MAST CHOCOLATE, founded by brothers Rick and Michael Mast, will move into the third wing of the now fully-leased Green Manufacturing Center (GMC), a state-of-the-art, LEED-certified manufacturing facility and former ship building facility, which is expected to bring 800 jobs to the Yard.
With this expansion, MAST CHOCOLATE will more than double their existing workforce of nearly 75 people, with a long-term plan to create 100 more jobs. The Navy Yard’s onsite Employment Center will assist Mast with their HR and recruitment, helping to place local residents into the jobs being created. The chocolate maker will increase production capabilities significantly with its new factory, where it will continue to innovate and produce its signature chocolate from bean to bar for retailers and chefs around the globe. It will also be debuting the first-ever chocolate brewery where they will be brewing, bottling, kegging, and distributing its popular non-alcoholic chocolate beer. MAST joins a growing list of food and beverage manufacturers at the Yard including Russ & Daughters, Brooklyn Roasting Company, and Kings County Distillery.
The move will also mark the introduction of the MAST CHOCOLATE community programming initiative called M.A.S.T. (Math, Art, Science, Technology), which will bring grade-school students from local Brooklyn public-schools into the production facility throughout the year and will offer programming in conjunction with BLDG 92, the Yard’s public exhibition center, to provide public tours and other programs.
“When MAST CHOCOLATE moves to the Yard they will quickly double their existing workforce, creating good jobs for dozens of New Yorkers,” said Brooklyn Navy Yard President and CEO David Ehrenberg. “With nearly $700 million in development currently underway at the Yard, we’re thrilled to complete the first step of our larger redevelopment plan, which will add over 2.5 million square feet of space and more than 9,000 additional jobs on the Yard by 2020. Mast, and all the tenants at the fully-leased Green Manufacturing Center, will continue to boost the entire Brooklyn and New York City economy.”
“We are humbled by the opportunity to grow our family business in such a stunning, historic, and state-of-the-art facility in the Brooklyn Navy Yard,” says Rick Mast, co-founder and CEO of MAST. “It is a dream come true to be a part of the incredible Brooklyn Navy Yard community and have the chance to create many more delicious jobs,” says Michael Mast, co-founder and President of MAST.
Irene Nickolai and Thomas Hochfelder of Douglas Elliman Commercial represented Mast Brothers Chocolate, Inc. In their 15-year lease negotiations.
“We’re excited to be bringing good jobs and food manufacturing to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and hope to attract even more iconic New York businesses to ensure that local brands are making their products here at home,” said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) is the not-for-profit corporation that serves as the real estate developer and property manager of the Yard on behalf of its owner, the City of New York. BNYDC’s mission is to fuel New York City’s economic vitality by creating and preserving quality jobs, growing the City’s modern industrial sector and its businesses, and connecting the local community with the economic opportunity and resources of the Yard. BNYDC’s vision is a vibrant and dense, modern manufacturing community where businesses are provided the stability needed to invest, grow, and thrive. The Yard is now home to over 300 businesses employing approximately 7,000 people and generating over $2B per year in economic impact for the City. BNYDC’s goal is to more than double employment – to 16,000 jobs – by 2020.