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Island Park-based business imports sweet snacks from Europe

Paul Adler, of Oceanside, was a Wall Street banker in the early 2000s and now owns Global Diversified Holdings in Island Park.
Paul Adler, of Oceanside, was a Wall Street banker in the early 2000s and now owns Global Diversified Holdings in Island Park.
Briana Bonfiglio/Herald

Oceanside resident Paul Adler is making waves in the sweet treats industry by venturing out of the country to find snacks to sell in the U.S. market.

Global Diversified Holdings, his small, but far-reaching business, buys, brands, imports and distributes packaged snack items from Europe to sell in the U.S. at major retailers and club stores.

“We try to bring products that will appeal to the public — the price is right, the taste is right, the packaging is right,” Adler explained. “People tend to like products from higher-equity countries like Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland.”

Now, he’s founded parent company Global Diversified Market Group, which is set to go pubic in the next month. Sitting at the conference room table of his Island Park office, where he’s made deals with various Fortune 500 companies, he shared his journey to becoming a business owner and vision for its future.

Adler began a career on Wall Street in 1999, quickly rising up the ranks for nearly a decade before he left in 2008.“I was always interested in [dealing with] companies that had certain types of assets like food, so that was one of the main things in my Rolodex,” he recalled. “I had business owners and food companies that had interest in me being on board.”

He then joined the board of a small ravioli company, where he was “instrumental to their growth,” tripling its profits in one year, he said. Seeking a new challenge, he started a beverage company and slowly got into snacks.

“People eat all day long,” he noted as a reason for gravitating toward the food business. “They like to snack on things, even at dinnertime. I know, personally, I’d rather snack on something than have a big dinner No matter what the economy is, people are going to eat, regardless.”

Adler noticed a lack of high-quality snack options at home, so he travelled to Europe to find them. He visits Europe four to five times per year and has attended some of the world’s finest food shows, including ISM Cologne in Germany, a trade fair for snacks and sweets.

Global Diversified Holdings owns four snack brands, Biscotelli (Italy), Bonbons de Paris (France), Coco Bliss (Switzerland) and Puff Bites (Lithuania). The brands’ fifteen products include mini cakes, bite-sized wafers in several flavors, coconut wafer bites and sweet puffs.

The company’s newest product is the Biscotelli chocolate cream-filled croissant, a buttery treat with a rich, dark chocolate filling. It is now only sold to vending companies, micro markets and coffee pantries. Because of its great reviews, Adler is working with the Italian manufacturers to create a six-pack to sell to retail and club stores.

He noted that his children, a 16-year-old and 22-year-old, love the snacks and constantly ask him to bring home more. “Little do they know, they’re not free, I have to pay for them, too,” he joked.

Moving forward, Adler said he is aiming to add 10 to 15 more products and grow from three to seven employees. Stock sales, which will begin sometime next month, will go toward increased distribution and possible acquisitions, he said.

“My main motivation is bringing high quality products to consumers that they love,” Adler reflected. “Whenever I shop, I always look at the labels, make sure they’re clean with all good ingredients. I love getting emails saying ‘we love your product.’”