By Nova Belle C. Calotes/DOST 10
Heaven’s Bakehaus and Enterprises, in Tibanga, Iligan City has won the 2023 SETUP PRAISE award from the Department of Science and Technology. This national-level recognition was received at the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration opening ceremony in Iloilo City on 23 November.
Owners PSMS Marc Claro and wife, Dr. Roly Ann Claro, receive the award given by the Secretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr, Usec. Sancho A. Mabborang, with DOST-X Regional Director Romela N. Ratilla.
The SETUP PRAISE AWARD is bestowed on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who excelled and flourished in their technological and innovative ventures with the assistance of the Department’s flagship program, the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). This national search has been done annually for the last 11 consecutive years.
DOST SETUP Praise awardee PSMS Marc Claro and wife, Dr. Roly Ann Claro at the SETUP awarding ceremony.
The firm has been into the production and distribution of baked products since 2010 with a starting capital of P 5,000, registered on 18 October 2012 purposely to create a means of living for a single parent who lived with them.
Their main product is the piaya that is now one of the most popular pasalubong items from Iligan. Now, patrons call it Piaya de Iligan after knowing that it is locally made fresh. It is an unleavened bread pie filled with various flavors from local produce like the muscovado, purple yam, and durian.
The firm first received its SETUP assistance in 2016 for their upgrading of Piaya and Pastel Processing Equipment. Maximizing the government’s available technical assistance, they also availed DOST’s Food Safety, Manufacturing Productivity and Expansion Program (MPEX), and Good Manufacturing Practices Standard Operating Procedure Manual writeshop in 2018. This led to a fruitful product and process improvement and the acquisition of the License To Operate from the Food and Drug Administration.
The firm also received a series of trainings on Packaging and Labeling, Food Safety Awareness, Halal certification, and other consultancy services.
In 2021, Heaven’s Bakehaus became a licensee of DOST – Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s Enhanced Nutribun (eNutribun) technology. To date, they are the only technology adopter of eNutribun in Lanao del Norte.
Innovative and quality products and the production of enhanced nutribun kept the firm afloat even at the height of the pandemic. They also developed an ube delicacy to sustain ube farmers in the hinterlands of the Iligan. These farmers are now supplying Heaven’s Bakehaus directly at a price that brings smiles to the farmers.
Dr. Roly Ann Claro with some of the employees of Heavens Bakehaus
The firm also applied for a second set of upgrading with SETUP, which focus progressed to strengthening mainline products such as Pasalubong Food Items (Piaya, Hopia and Various Baked Products), Bread Products (eNutribun Squash and Carrot Variants, Pan Ramona, Ube and Choco Sliced, Sliced Bread, etc.), Pizza, Cakes, and Pastries.
In July of this year, Heaven’s Bakehaus launched Big Deal Pizza in Iligan City and expanded its original manufacturing operations with 15 workers composed of single parents, persons with disabilities, out-of-school youth, and older people. In addition to their various branches in the Lanao del Norte, there are two more branches operating outside Lanao del Norte.
Today, Heaven’s Bakehaus is the sole OTOP (One Town, One Product) Hub in the Province, a one-stop retail store where market-ready products of a community cater to local buyers and tourists. Its products are also available at the Laguindingan Airport, Misamis Oriental. It is also on the ecommerce platform with POS payments.
Heaven’s Bakehaus and Enterprise has significantly impacted the community by providing employment to vulnerable sectors and utilizing locally produced farm produce as raw materials. The bakery continues to innovate and experiment with new products while staying true to its roots and commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
The Claro couple encouraged would-be entrepreneurs and startups to seek the assistance of DOST when they received the regional level SETUP Praise award during the 2023 RSTW sa Amihanang Mindanao in Iligan City on October 11-13. “Ibutang sa inyong hunahuna ug kasingkasing (put it in your mind and heart) that there is always one DOST for you.”
This is the first national SETUP Praise award given to a firm from Northern Mindanao. The awardee was rated based on the criteria: Productivity (17%); Resilience(17%); Agility (17%); Innovativeness (17%); Sustainability (17%); and Excellence (15%).