According to Moore and Gillette (1991), as cited by Brett (2012), one of the characteristics of a king is living with integrity. In business, integrity includes being honest with what a company offers. Furthermore, integrity is also important in establishing and sustaining the company’s brand. For instance, Harito Food Products (Harito) from Los Baños, Laguna provides delicious, safe, and quality delicacies. Harito, which also sounds like “hari ito” (this is a king), manufactures cakes, pies, and biscuits in an LTO-certified production site.

Considerably a young manufacturing company which started in 2018, Harito was able to secure a License to Operate (LTO) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019 through the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). At present (2021), Harito is currently preparing for the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Certification under one of the capacity-building trainings of the One Town, One Product Next Generation (OTOP Next Gen) of DTI – Laguna Provincial Office (DTI-Laguna). HACCP is one of the certifications required by many export market.

DTI-Laguna’s intervention

DTI-Laguna started assisting Mr. Jerry S. Urriquia, Jr., the owner of Harito, in 2018. Sir Jerry was a Kapatid Mentor Micro Enterprise (KMME) Mentee-Graduate and a former food trader. After graduating from KMME, he was challenged to manufacture his own food product. He joined a bazaar after the graduation and introduced buko cassava de leche. His sales increased and he was able to help his fellow KMME Mentee-Graduate to earn extra income with his products. Through KMME, he learned to pay forward to the community by providing job opportunities. In 2019, he was enrolled in the OTOP Next Gen program, which provides intensive product development. He was assisted and guided by the food expert in the process and formulation standardization of Harito’s Biskoti.

Harito’s Biskoti

Through the OTOP Next Gen program, he was able to develop a new product, the Harito’s Biskoti. As an addition to his line of coconut-based processed foods like buko cassava de leche, he conceptualized his own biskoti—a toasted coconut biscuit stick similar to Italian biscuit called biscotti. He used coconut as a main ingredient which is known as one of the premium seven export food products. What’s more, he wanted to contribute to the features of Los Baños which is also popular for coconut-based food products like buko pie.

Harito's Biskoti on a plate

Although Harito’s Biskoti has been gaining positive feedback, this arising product was not created overnight. It was first introduced to him during his KMME Business Improvement Plan presentation in 2018; Harito’s Biskoti was only a concept then. In 2019, he became one of OTOP Next Gen beneficiaries and registered his buko cake to undergo product development assistance. The product development consultations with food experts took almost half a year. It was in November 2019 when a session involved actual demonstration and production. At some stage in this activity, he still wanted to develop his buko cake but he couldn’t achieve what he wanted due to the complexity of the process. During the sensory evaluation, it appeared that the “toasted” version of his buko cake was more feasible; thus, the birth of Harito’s Biskoti. This prototype has already been mass-produced and one of Harito’s fast-moving products.

Men and women standing in front of Harito Food Products store
A pasalubong store with own logistics feature and showcases other OTOP products from Laguna (photo downloaded from

Moving forward amid pandemic

The COVID-19 didn’t stop Harito from growing. Rather, he took the pandemic threat as an opportunity for business growth. Since a lot of food manufacturers ceased operations, he grabbed this chance to produce and sell more products. He maximized the use of social media in promoting and selling products. He was even able to establish a new branch – one of the hubs of the Juan Stop Online Pasalubong Centers: a complete package of e-commerce store with own logistics service piloted by a group of Laguna OTOPreneurs, as supported by DTI-Laguna. As compared to 2018, Harito’s sales has increased by 100%.

Living the brand

Harito underwent Branding Development in 2020 under the OTOP Next Gen program of DTI-Laguna. Harito’s tagline “Treats for the Kings” was created. But beyond that, Harito is not only a “sweet reward” for the consumers. Harito is the king who lives by its brand by doing business with integrity. Harito continuously serves delicious, safe, and quality food products. In 2021, Harito has started preparing for the HACCP Certification. Harito also plans to secure certification from the International Organization for Standardization. ♦

Brett (2012). The Four Archetypes of the Mature Masculine: The King. Retrieved from on 03 March 2021.

Date of Release: 8 March 2021