HomeStandard StyleCovid-19 spurs birth of Bayleaf Garden Lodges

Covid-19 spurs birth of Bayleaf Garden Lodges

BY WELLINGTON ZIMBOWA
With Covid-19’s advent in 2020, life literally came to a standstill.

Global public health protocols instigated by the World Health Organisation and governments to mitigate the spread of the  pandemic hampered  social and business activities in an unprecedented manner.

But as some businesses closed shop or plummeted due to subdued activity as a result of lockdowns and movement restrictions as well as limited business trading hours, ironically Bayleaf Garden Lodge — a promising accommodation and leisure centre, in Redcliff, Midlands province launched its arrival and is determined to  claim a fair share on the market.

“Bayleaf Garden Lodge was developed and opened during the initial Covid-19 lock down when we took advantage of the time available at our disposal,” said the joint’s co-director Simba Warinda.

“Our business is quite unique in the sense that besides providing accommodation, we focus on being able to provide activities that benefit the local community and also touch on different age groups.”

An engineer by profession, who has spent time working outside Zimbabwe, Warinda runs the enterprise with his wife Tafadzwa, who is also a co-director.

But the inspiring “lemonade” story is that although the idea of such a venture was mooted in 2010, Tafadzwa being a tourism and hospitality graduate, progress only started in 2014  at a  rather slower pace with the Covid-19’s  arrival accelerating the project.

Largely relying on the husband income for the half a million dollar project, the middle-aged couple completed  its purchase of the affluent premises in  2010 in the low-density Redcliff suburb with renovations, including building another house to live nearby the business for easy management  being completed in 2014.

The Bayleaf Garden Lodge management team

According to Warinda, Covid-19 hit hard in 2020 when the world was taken unaware resulting in the closure of most of the borders globally. He was forced to have a prolonged stay home following a holiday visit from abroad where he was working.

After a year’s business success at its pioneer residential area unit, the company decided to extend to a more spacious and serene environment and still retaining its aura according to one of the directors, hence the birth of Bayleaf 2 Clubhouse at a more vast commercial property purchased in 2020.

The second unit is currently 80% complete and at 50% operation level, with a more trebled ambiance since it is in the “countryside”, boasting of a scenery and natural picturesque hideout environment that suits most outdoor events.

“The gardens have been appreciated by the community and we have received bookings for birthdays, picnics, photo shoots weddings,” said Warinda.

“The venue can host music shows, church gatherings and consultations, conferences and children’s fun days, just to name a few.”.

According to Warinda, the company offers a splendid service to its clients including tailor-made meals usually upon timely requests with business open all day round throughout the week for guests.

Bayleaf Lodges is proactive in corporate social responsibility, supporting a number of local artistes and DJs through a number of initiatives such as the Miss Valentine showcase held in February.

Warinda admits that cash flow for the local community is the major hindrance, but remain optimistic of current initiatives being spearheaded by government and other partners while running water problems have been mitigated by ensuring uninterrupted water supply.

To address power changes, the company relies on other alternatives such as generators  and  solar energy.

The two lodges have 13 staff members.

Aiming to provide full leisure packages for the local community and other clients, the enterprise draws inspiration from being people-centred

“We believe building our business lies in creating strong relationships with the clients, guests and community at large,” said Warinda.

Tafadzwa has a finance degree to ensure professional running of the business while the husband opted to concentrate  with his engineering profession so as to enable other financial streams to support their company.

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