Spotlight on the smart choice

HP celebrates the impact of small Filipino businesses

Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) play a crucial economic and social role in the Philippines. Aside from providing a wide spectrum of products and services, micro, small and medium businesses employ at least 64 percent of the country’s total workforce.

Smart technologies, such as smart printers, not only enhance the convenience of business operations but also empower SMBs to streamline processes, bolster brand promotions, and deliver superior services and products to consumers. Beyond basic document printing, smart printers serve as a game-changer by enabling business owners to seamlessly integrate with other smart devices like smartphones, enhancing productivity with built-in security features.

Global technology leader HP believes that enabling the success of small business is vital. The company is focused on creating smart and cost-effective products to meet SMB’s needs, helping them meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive environment and changing customer preferences.

Today, HP is celebrating the success of ten smart, small and local businesses in hopes of inspiring more budding entrepreneurs to follow suit.

Smart Innovators

Founders Donuts reaps sweet rewards from persistent innovation

It was in 2022 when RP Argonza, co-founder of Founders Cafe Inc. (FCI), began experimenting with leftover dough which led to the creation of delicious doughnuts that received rave reviews from friends and families.  His business partner, Chris Estacion, was encouraged by this positive reception and decided to feature them in their cafe.

Fast forward to 2021, after years of innovation and testing, Founders Donuts was officially launched. Today, Founders Donuts has three physical stores, offering over 17 delectable donut flavors alongside a variety of hot and cold beverages.


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Owners of Founder Donuts, RP Argonza and Chris Estacion



Before venturing into doughnut sales, RP and Chris used to run their first store as a workshop cafe, hosting  business workshops covering a range of F&B categories such as coffee, tea, pizza, ramen, as well as workshops about marketing and business operations. The workshop cafe provided an innovative platform that nurtured the next generation of F&B business owners, inspiring many aspiring food entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams. Today, it operates under the company name Argonza Trading alongside its doughnut business, offering ongoing support to future F&B restaurant owners.

Bringing the benefits of natural remedies with Aurae Natura 

In 2016, Des Nito, founder of Aurae Natura gained her aromatherapy certification with the Aromahead Institute, led by internationally recognized clinical aromatherapist Andrea Butje and her team.  This journey opened up a new realm of health support and sparked her passion for using essential oils to support wellness.


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Aurae Natura owner, Des Nito


Known for its uplifting diffuser blends, Aurae Natura uses carefully selected essential oils for specific purposes. Their offerings include single essential oils like Eucalyptus, Citronella, and Frankincense as well as essential oil blends Blissful Sleep, which help users achieve deep, restorative sleep; and Sweet Sanctuary, which blends Grapefruit, Citrus and Pachouli to create a calming experience. They carry a variety of diffusers, inhalers and aroma stones, giving users a wide range of options for enjoying the oils. Today, the brand has an online storefront and is also available on e-commerce sites.

Smartly Sustainable

Human Nature’s groundbreaking Pro-Environment, Pro-Poor and Pro-Philippines biz

Human Nature, a business rooted in Pro-Environment, Pro-Poor, and Pro-Philippines ethos, was born from Anna Meloto-Wilk and her husband Dylan's experiences while touring the US to support Gawad Kalinga. They observed a rise in affordable, eco-friendly products in the mainstream markets and realized these products are made with ingredients abundant in the Philippines, they envisioned a venture that could uplift impoverished communities.

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Founders of Human Nature, Anna Meloto-Wilk, her husband, Dylan Wilk, and her sister, Camille Meloto Rodriguez


Joined by Anna's sister Camille, they embarked on extensive research to realize their vision. And finally, Human Nature was launched in 2008, with an aim to empower local communities by ethically sourcing raw materials like citronella and coconut oil while providing livelihood training. At the same time, the brand expanded its range of sustainable personal care, cosmetics, and home products, all while championing fair labor practices, including living wages and full benefits for employees, as part of its commitment to combating poverty in the Philippines.

Malagos Chocolate seeks to uplift Philippine cacao industry 

The family of Roberto and Charita Puentespina initially ventured into water well drilling after migrating to Davao in the 1960’s.  Charito’s love for plants led them to establish their first farm in 1963, growing fruits, coconuts, and coffee.


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Head of Malagos Chocolate's Manila Business Unit, Jam Puentespina, and Charita Puentespina, founder of Malagos Chocolate


Charita later leased a farm in Malagos in 2003.  Driven by a desire to revitalize the cacao industry and produce high-quality Philippine chocolate, she invested in improving cacao-growing practices and post-harvest processes.  Years of development culminated in the establishment of Malagos Agri Ventures, maker of Malagos Chocolate. The award-winning brand has been recognized as one of the best-tasting chocolates in the world, garnering top marks from the International Chocolate Awards and the World Drinking Chocolate Competition.

Smart Customer-centricity

WildHeart Flower Shop & Café blooms in challenging times

Entrepreneurs David and Ria Duque started selling dried flowers from their home in Las Piñas in 2021 as a means to earn extra cash during the pandemic. The couple started by creating arrangements for a friend’s wedding. Word spread about their beautiful and unique creations and pretty soon, orders started pouring in and the Duques needed more space.


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Owners of WildHeart Flower Shop & Café, David and Ria Duque



To cater to their growing base of patrons, they opened the WildHeart Flower Shop + Café in May 2021. Here, patrons are invited to savor delightful coffee and delectable snacks amidst a backdrop of exquisite floral displays. With a keen understanding of their customers' desires, the flower shop and café offer a harmonious blend of products tailored to diverse preferences, ensuring a captivating café experience unlike any other. They also have an online shop where you can order flowers and have them delivered straight to your loved ones.

TOMO Coffee: introducing “omotenashi” hospitality one cup at a time

Fueled by a love for Japanese culture and coffee, Joy Bautista opened TOMO Coffee - TOMO emphasizes “omotenashi”, a Japanese concept of warm hospitality and anticipating customer needs.


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Founder of Tomo Coffee, Joy Bautista



TOMO Coffee has three guiding principles. TOMOBLEND EXTRAORDINARY QUALITY uses beans from local farmers, TOMETASHI EXCEPTIONAL CARE ensures all customers feel valued; and TOMOMIKUJI EXPERIENCE offers a cultural journey, letting customers enjoy high-quality Philippine coffee prepared using traditional Japanese methods.  From its humble beginnings in a Manila alley, TOMO Coffee has thrived with 16 physical stores to date, a vibrant community on social media, an online ordering system and a pre-paid service.

Use of Smart Technology

Linens and Layers champions local manufacturers   

In 2016, IT professional Ed Oswald Go and his wife, Zel Teng Go embarked on a mission to modernize their parents' traditional brick-and-mortar store, which sold linen, towels and beddings. When the couple first started, they realized that bulk of their sales were imported towels of lower quality and it was then that they decided to seek out high-quality, locally-made towels, thereby supporting Philippine manufacturers. 


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Founders of Linen and Layers, Ed Oswald Go and his wife, Zel Teng Go


Embracing technology as a catalyst for growth, Linens and Layers transitioned their offline store to online platform, and introduced a  complimentary online embroidery service, allowing customers to personalize their products. This service resonated well with their clientele and has driven significant business growth. Their current product line also includes linens, robes, as well as infant wear with personalized orders being a primary offering. Today, their products are available on all major e-commerce sites and via their online store. Linens and Layers also sells their products wholesale.

Jerry's Klasik Taho: introducing a well-loved snack to a new generation

For decades, Jerry Manzon and his family have been making classic Filipino taho, a warm and comforting snack made of fresh silken tofu, paired with sago pearls and brown sugar syrup. They uphold tradition by hand-grinding soybeans and cooking in a coal-heated furnace to create the silken tofu base.


Business owner of Jerry's Klasik Taho, Jerry Manzon aka Mang Jerry



During the pandemic, they recognized the need to adapt their business model to reach customers in new ways. Turning to social media, Jerry’s Klasik Taho began offering their products online, catering to a younger demographic seeking convenience and safety. Embracing contactless delivery, they ensured that customers could enjoy their favorite taho without leaving the safety of their homes.

Not stopping there, Jerry's Klasik Taho expanded its reach by setting up booths in schools and catering to corporate clients and special events. Despite modernizing their operations, the Manzon family remains committed to tradition, continuing to craft taho manually to preserve its authentic taste and quality.

Smart Cultural Promotion

Mang Bert’s Special Ice Cream discovers the perfect timpla for growth

For decades, Mang Bert’s ice cream cart has been a popular hangout spot for students at the University of the Philippines.  Known for its delicious and affordable “dirty ice cream,” crafted in small batches using rented facilities, the sorbetero cart holds a special place as Filipino cultural icon. It is where kids gather around to buy ice cream. Even today, children and young at heart still rush over when they see the sorbetero cart.


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Owner of Mang Bert’s Special Ice Cream, Jen Pelo


Recognizing the potential to further promote Filipino culture through their beloved ice cream, Jen Pelo, Mang Bert’s daughter, took charge and expanded the business by securing loans and developing a solid marketing plan.  This allowed their business to grow from a single cart venture to a fleet of six carts and even capable of catering to events.  Today, Mang Bert’s Special Ice Cream not only responds to the clamor of customers by making pint-sized batches more readily available but also continues to spread the joy of Filipino ice cream culture.

Alriver Export brings Filipino artisans to the world stage

In 1986, Mr. Albert de Rivera founded a company that initially showcased Filipino artistry through handmade baskets and decor.  Despite promising beginnings, business growth was slow. Inspired by a divine idea, Alriver Export made a bold pivot, transitioning from basket-making to crafting decorative Angel figurines.


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General Manager of Alriver Export Corporation, Alessa D. San Juan


Managed by de Rivera and his wife, Nanette—Alriver’s chief designer and secret weapon—Alriver Export continued to flourish and was formally incorporated in February 1992. Today, it stands as a fully family-run enterprise, with their children also joining the team.

In a bid to further promote Filipino artistry locally, Alriver established Alriver.PH to offer exclusive items directly to the Philippine market. Despite the success of their export business to international markets such as the United States, South America, Europe, and Australia the company remains committed to sharing its art and talent within the Philippines. Through their creations, Alriver Export Corporation promotes a sense of cultural pride and appreciation for Filipino craftsmanship both locally and globally.

HP is committed to empowering businesses of all generations and sizes to thrive in the emerging digital economy with confidence and ease. HP recently launched the Smart Tank 580, an All-in-One printer that lets small business owners print more for less. 

The HP Smart Tank Printers are available on Lazada and Shopee. To learn more about how HP Smart Tank printers can help your business grow, visit Make the Smart Choice today!