Caitriona Cullen originally from Knockananna will represent County Carlow as the Leading Light for National Women in Enterprise Day (Thursday, October 7th), Caitriona runs Cullen Nurseries with her husband Robert in nearby Hacketstown.
Cullen Nurseries are growers and suppliers of a large range of native trees and hedging. We help our customers choose the right trees and hedging for their planting needs. Robert and Caitriona Cullen, a horticulturist and biochemist, husband and wife team are the people behind Cullen Nurseries.
After more than 10 years as a Quality Manager in the food industry, Caitriona left her role to move into the business in 2019 to aid with the expansion of Cullen Nurseries. Despite the challenges of Covid lockdowns and the pandemic, Cullen Nurseries is continually evolving, expanding and branching out with the introduction of new lines of potted hedging and ornamental trees to compliment their native plant offering. Caitriona recognised quickly during lockdown that she could use the infrastructure available in the nursery to meet the demand for quality products aimed at homeowners, whilst also providing an income to the business during the first lockdowns. The response was wonderful and that side of the business really took off great. The recent purchase of an additional 8 acres of land in late 2020, along with the erection of additional polytunnels will see the capacity of the nursery more than double in the coming years.
“There is a massive demand for native trees and hedging in Ireland today as people become more aware of importance of planting trees and planting native. The last 18 months, although challenging, has been a very busy time for us, as people turned to the sanctuary of their garden during the many lockdowns” says Caitriona Cullen. “Immediately we could see the demand for quality Irish grown products and also for Robert’s 25 years of experience and knowledge. We quickly moved into the digital sphere of online retail and developed our website with the help of a Trading Online Voucher from the Local Enterprise Office and things took off from there. We could market and sell our quality trees and hedging all over Ireland. We also offer a nationwide delivery service and have delivered into all 32 counties on the island of Ireland, from the Sheep’s Head peninsula in Co. Cork right up to Lifford in Co. Donegal.”
Cullen Nurseries have been growing native trees and hedging from their base under Eagle Hill in Hacketstown just 3 miles inside the Carlow Wicklow border, since 2009.
Originally from a farming background, Caitriona puts her love of the land and nature down to her childhood in Knockananna, Co. Wicklow whilst Robert is from a horticultural family based in Hacketstown, Co. Carlow.
In late 2020, Caitriona was chosen to participate in the ACORNS 6 programme. ACORNS is an initiative run by the Department of Agriculture responsible for Accelerating the Creation of Rural Nascent Start Ups for Female Entrepreneurs in Ireland. Caitriona speaks very highly of the programme emphasising how such initiatives adapted and moved online still facilitating, although virtually, the vital opportunities of networking and supporting female entrepreneurs in their businesses. “Being able to tap into a network of vastly experienced and driven female entrepreneurs has been so valuable to the growth and expansion of Cullen Nurseries, there are so many women who you can rely on for support advice and encouragement”
Caitriona will represent Carlow as the Leading Light for National Women in Enterprise Day on Thursday, October 7th. NWED is a free virtual online event which offers Women in business the opportunity to network, promote their services and products and to hear from other prominent Women in Irish Business.