Ra’anana man feeds humous to a Hungary nation

Chain of restaurants has found a following among a people known for their love of goulash and pastries.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
September 3, 2010 05:37
1 minute read.
Humous Falafel

Humous 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)

BUDAPEST – Uri Gotlibovich, a 37-year-old businessman from Ra’anana, has brought humous to Hungary.

Gotlibovich is the proud owner of a chain of restaurants called Humus Bar that has found a following among a people known for their love of goulash and pastries.

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“At first it was very hard sell – they didn’t know what it was,” Gotlibovich said of the locals’ first contact with the chickpea paste. “Luckily, we had some Israeli and student clients in the beginning, but I said to myself, if Israelis love humous and Arabs love humous and everybody loves humous then Hungarians will learn to love humous, too.”

Gotlibovich didn’t set out to become a restaurateur when he arrived in Hungary in 2003. He invested in a hi-tech business but when that went bust he moved on and saw a market for Middle Eastern food. He opened his first humous joint near the city’s former Jewish quarter in 2005 but for two years struggled to attract business.

“It took us time to improve and find the right taste,” he recalled.

His instincts, however, served him well. Since 2007 he has opened at three other locations and he is considering selling franchises.

“Yesterday I got a call from the US asking me if I wanted to open a branch there, but for now I’m fine concentrating on my business here,” he said.


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