In 1910, we started with 5¢ bundles of bags.
Great Grandpa Max Halper immigrated to the U.S. from what was then Prussia in the early 20th century, excited to take on the business world of NYC and Newark, NJ, and support his very large family.
He started with a simple pushcart, peddling butcher paper and kraft bags to the merchants of the Lower East Side.
Eventually, he had enough money to open his own storefront and enough sons to staff the business. Hence, Halper Brothers was born.
Halper Brothers grew to be one of the largest distributors of paper goods to restaurants and hotels in the Tri-State area. That's our Grandpa Ben second from the left with brothers Dave, Sam, Lou and Irv. In total, 6 brothers led the growth and prosperity of Halper Brothers from the 1940s through the 1980s.
When their sons and daughters came of age, many joined the family business, contributing to sales, accounting and any area they could find a spot.
By the late 1980s, the economy took a turn for the worst and the business was unable to sustain all of its partners and family members. In 1991, the business officially shut its doors.
After the closing of Halper Brothers, the cousins all found a new home in other aspects of the industry, and many started their own non-competing companies, each focusing on a different sector of the paper business.
Despite the folding of Halper Brothers, the Halper family committed to remain close-knit, and to this day, the 200+ Halpers convene for their annual family Passover Seder each spring. That's a lot of Halpers, and a lot of toilet paper jokes!
I. Halper Paper & Supplies
After the closing of Halper Brothers in 1991, Irwin made the decision to start his own company so that he could continue to service his clients. Irwin is the "I" in I. Halper Paper & Supplies.
However, after only a few months in business, he received a medical diagnosis that meant immediate surgery and the inability to use his voice for almost 10 months.
His son Matthew, having recently graduated from college and yet to be employed, jumped in to help his dad communicate with customers and make deliveries. After closing his first sale, Matthew was hooked and never left the business.
Meanwhile, Andrew was just a freshman in college, calling every day to check what orders were coming in and what new accounts were being opened. After spending countless summers loading trucks in the warehouse and visiting customers, there was no doubt that Andrew would join the family business as well.
I. Halper Today
Today, I. Halper is run by brothers and best friends Matthew and Andrew Halper who have a combined 50+ years experience in the restaurant and hospitality distribution industry.
Their philosophy of "family first" permeates every aspect of the business, from their valued staff, longstanding vendors and their beloved customers.
Great Grandpa Max planted the seed;
Grandpa Ben laid the foundation for our values;
Irwin built a legacy; and
Matthew and Andrew are growing the future of I. Halper.