"Unexpected things give birth to new ways of doing business."

Meet Eko Food – one of the astonishing businesses who through the pandemic found new ways to run their business. Find out how.

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Read time: 2 mins      Added: 12/05/2021

Eko Food Market were cooking on all cylinders in early 2020 as a leading UK manufacturer and supplier of deliciously authentic and high-quality chilled and frozen ethnic ready meals, ambient sauces and African dry foods.

Although its investment plan for new premises was back on track thanks to a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan from Lloyds Bank, their general operation wasn’t immune to the disruption caused by the pandemic. But as with most success stories, it was their positive attitude as a business that gave them the inspiration to see change as an opportunity to unlock something new.
 

What they did differently during lockdown:

“We were cut off from our suppliers. Finding British ones threw us a lifeline.” 

Using the challenge Covid-19 posed to think differently about the way they ran their business, they decided to take the joy they felt in the food they produced direct to their customers, in a way they never expected.

Insourcing. Restrictions meant that they could no longer outsource their usual produce from Nigeria, so instead had to think of alternative sources, looking to import options closer to home. 

Auntie Christine’s Doorstep Celebrations. They hired a saxophonist so they could surprise their customers at their front door with food and music on special occasions. This was initially offered as free service and has now turned into a revenue stream. Rapid Covid-19 tests were taken prior to any visit so that no restrictions were broken, and food was packaged and presented in a way fit for the customer’s celebration.

Food Delivery. They delivered food direct to customers, including ‘working from home’ packages that were specifically for people who didn’t have time to cook.
 

Looking forward:

“Never miss the opportunity to take a fresh look at how you do things.”

Looking back at the last 12 months, the business has grown in new and unexpected ways. 

Despite the restrictions, they’ve actually been busier than ever and are gearing up for the opening of their new premises this summer. Delays in the refurbishment have been difficult to manage, but they’re on track to reopen and have already taken on a number of bookings for weddings and other celebrations. 

With the mantra of putting every moment you have to good use, the new revenue streams - born out of necessity to keep the business operational - are now set to continue as a permanent feature, with a push to grow both their delivery service and saxophone-inspired celebrations service.

Great news for them and great news for those expecting a doorstep celebration.

Mayfield Eggs

Christine, Owner, Eko Food

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