The Eden Team at 6 Months (September, 2019)

The most famous metaphor for Paradise is the Garden of Eden. In 2019, we  took that concept literally and built a product that provides a custom ‘room service’ experience for homes and companies, taking care of routine and frustrating but necessary tasks so that people can spend their time doing the things they truly love. Our lofty plans to completely revamp the service culture in the country started with laundry, cleaning, meals, AC servicing and our company package.

Eden’s premise is simple: we create a personable and intuitive system in the middle that’s powered by humans and intercepts a disjointed service industry to deliver pleasant custom services every time. Picture Eden like a garden: customers can explore a wide variety of plans on the Garden app, using their custom specifications (number of rooms, frequency of meals) to find the package that works best for them.

Our Gardeners work on the front-lines tending to the ‘weeds’ in the service industry and nurturing the homes or offices of their customers. They ensure that the service providers do what they are supposed to do, according to the specific preferences of their customers. Lighthouse - our in-house CRM tool ensures that gardeners are able to pay keen attention to the details of customers. We also built the Flash app - a mobile rendition of Lighthouse that enables gardeners to monitor the progress of each service from the beginning to the end.

The Garden App

A Virus Can Change a Lot of Things

So, what happens when a worldwide pandemic comes along, forcing the city of Lagos into a government-ordered lockdown? It turns out that this COVID-19 pandemic has been the ultimate stress-test for us and the results have been incredible. Our biggest concern is the safety of our community (our team members, customers and the general public) followed by the continuity of the services that our customers have come to rely on. We know how important it is to serve our community at a time like this when the reasons we exist are even more apparent: service is unreliable, inconsistent and now, market prices have skyrocketed. More than ever, the pandemic calls for our value proposition.

This is why, as far back as February (when the first case of the COVID-19 pandemic hit Africa), we had already hit the ground running: we laid out three sets of measures that ranged from mild to severe and focused on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic whether there was one case in the country or a ‘full-blown’ lockdown. The mild measures involved a set of guidelines that laid out WHO-recommended precautions to our Service Partners and our team. The severe measures involved a temporary shutdown of our most risk-prone services (cleaning, laundry and AC servicing) and restricting meal services to our kitchen team working in isolation. It took only four weeks for us to engage the full spectrum of our response plan, which gave us a very short window to completely revamp the model of our operations while maintaining the quality of service to our customers.

Our Commitment to Flattening the Curve

Today, the upper floors of our office have been turned into residences for our kitchen team. They have been critical in deploying our response plan - isolating in the garden to ensure that their risk factor is reduced to zero. Even though the virus is not food-borne, we have taken the extra precaution of pausing all external service providers during this period. Our gardener team has been split into two - one set of gardeners is working from home while the other set is isolating either within the estate that houses our building or nearby. This second set of gardeners only moves in specific vehicles that pick them up and drop them off. The office has been set up with cleansing stations in every room in the building.

Contents of the Eden Carebox

Before now, gardeners personally delivered services to their customers, however, as part of our response to the lockdown, we engaged Gokada for service logistics because of their shared commitment to flattening the curve. This allows us to minimize movement and exposure. Food deliveries are made by pilots who are following the WHO-recommended guidelines of continuous hand-washing, hand sanitization, distant drop-offs using gloves and masks. In addition to food, we have included a new line of care boxes that contain the most requested items needed during self-isolation. We also made the difficult decision to pause our laundry and cleaning services until we can provide these services without flouting both the recommended isolation procedures and the government-mandated lockdown.

It is working! In the last three weeks, we have retained the majority of our meal service customer base and acquired new subscriptions from companies whose team members are working from home and are committed to ensuring they do not have to leave their homes. This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to power their homes safely and for companies to subscribe to what may have seemed like a perk just weeks ago, but now proves to be a necessity in the emerging work culture.

Oh, Happy First Birthday to Us!

Last week, smack in the middle of our most interesting week yet, Eden turned one. As we enter into our second year, we are even more committed to our belief that living in Lagos does not have to be an extreme sport. Not during the COVID-19 pandemic, not ever. So, this is our commitment to flattening the curve: while you stay home, we will ensure you receive the meals and care boxes you need to be healthy and productive. Together, we can beat this!