(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.
“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,
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
moved on and saw a market for Middle Eastern food. He opened his first
joint near the city’s former Jewish quarter in 2005 but for two years
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
“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