As you'll recall, the Mast Brothers' Christmas was tragically ruined last month by a a widely-read exposé that looked behind the beards of Brooklyn's famous craft chocolate artisans. Following the revelation that the chocolate makers dabbled in couverture (melted industrial chocolate) in their early years, sales of the prettily packaged chocolate dwindled and, in some cases, dropped dramatically at some stores over the holidays. Some disillusioned chocolate connoisseurs in Brooklyn even went so far as to return their previously purchased Mast Brothers chocolate, Grub Street reports.

Five independent retailers told Grub Street that Mast Brothers sales declined significantly last month. Seasonal sales at Williamsburg's Bedford Cheese Shop and sister shop near Union Square dipped 40% and 17%, respectively, though the Manhattan location has historically sold fewer bars than Brooklyn. In the last two weeks of December 2014, Park Slope's Bklyn Larder sold $5,000 worth of Mast products, compared with only $1,700 in the same period in 2015. A West Coast shop also contacted by Grub Street said sales dropped between 27% or a startling 47%, if a large single purchase of 70 bars was taken out of the data set.

Nevertheless, a Mast Brothers rep insists retail sales "held steady," while online sales grew by "double digits." The rep tells Grub Street that "citing one or two shops that may have experienced a shift represents a very small fraction of retail partners and is not fully representative of sales on the whole."