My family name is Ben Perez. Often, as is the case when immigrants come to a new country, the locals mispronounce or misread first and last names. Many times Czech people I have met call me Mr. Peters. This always makes me smile and gives me funny stories to tell my wife and daughter. I can also relate because even after many years living here there are some names I cannot say correctly or remember. Believe me, it is not from lack of effort.
I was born in Casablanca Morocco and at the age of 8 months my family emigrated to Israel. I grew up in Jerusalem, a gorgeous and captivating city, finished school and went straight into army service where I was a military engineer for three years. During my time in the army I learned a great deal about myself and what I wanted to do when I finished.
Herbs, spices, plants, trees, flowers, and designing attractive and functional systems for gardens had developed into a passion of mine. Quite a few free weekends during my service years were spent visiting small and large gardens throughout the country. This was a great chance for me to gain inspiration and reflect about where my life was headed.
After I finished my studies in Israel with a degree as a landscape and garden technician, I started my career. It was during this time that I met my soon to be wife, who was from Krkonoše in the Czech republic, and began the most fulfilling chapter of my life. We were married in Israel and later celebrated the birth of our daughter. I had worked twelve years doing landscaping design when we decided to move here to the Czech republic. My mother once told me that sometimes you choose your destiny and other times it chooses you. Soon after, I was offered a position as a Logistics Manager for a big clothing company. The opportunity was out of the blue and not in my field, but it felt right and I was ready for the challenge. I ended up staying in this capacity for 13 years.
During those years my Israeli friends and family all understood well why I loved living here and I often told them about Czech mountains, forests, and spas. On visits I brought for them food, cakes, jam, beer, wine, and spirits and they enjoyed how they were different from what they were used to.
In this same way, many of our Czech friends were intrigued by Mediterranean cuisine and during dinner parties and holiday celebrations at our home, complimented the tastes, textures, and colors of the foods that we offered them. This was where the idea for Nofech patisserie was born, and it was clear what our next family project would be.
When I am not in the store, I am most happy spending time with my wife and daughter. My hobbies are photography, cooking, and baking.
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