Local entrepreneur shares journey from Tel Aviv to Philadelphia; Finds new vision despite pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Life can be full of surprises and redirection to a newer path.

Ran Betite shares a pretty unique journey over in Queen Village, that many may describe as living the American Dream.

In 2019, Betite and his wife, Yael Cooperman, used all of their savings to move from Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, to the city of Philadelphia last fall.

Cooperman had goals to take a medical residency, while Betite wanted to continue his mechanical-engineering career.

What was not in the plans was the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted a lot of their goals.

"No test, no green-card interview, no work authorization. We were pretty much just stuck at home with no income," said Betite.

All while transitioning with their 18-month-old son Lev, the family quickly settled for a row-house in Queen Village and were also preparing for the birth of their second child.

Betite says he had to think of something quick, then followed his earlier passion.

"I love cooking, I stayed at home and started going crazy," said Betite. "I always baked, but I started baking like crazy, and I started cooking like crazy."

Through community and social media, word quickly spread that Betite was in town with a delicious recipe.

Drop-off deliveries soon gained the attention of Mr. and Mrs. Cohen, who are the owners of Cohen & Co. Hardware.

This soon later launched the idea for a pop-up shop on the 600 block of E. Passyunk Avenue.

"My wife Anna-Marie saw on Instagram their bread," said Mitchell Cohen. "She just contacted them 'where could I get this bread?'"

Cohen says being a four-generation business helping a new business is great overall for the neighborhood.

"It's a fantastic win-win situation for everybody," said Cohen. "Sort of like an old fashion feel like there's bread outside, hot bread, and you can come into our hardware store. Just poke in and say hello."

'Metuka Freshly Baked' now shares a home in the city's Queen Village section, as well as a new vision for Betite and his wife.

"Customers seem to like it, so here we are at least once a week," said Betite. "We're just very happy with it."
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