Search is on for best young Food Entrepreneurs in Offaly

Registration is now open for GROW2CEO – a unique competition to find Irelands’ next young food entrepreneurs. GROW2CEO is a collaboration between Cully & Sully and GIY. The campaign was launched today in Cork by food entrepreneur Cullen Allen from Cully & Sully and Mick Kelly founder of GIY.

GROW2CEO will give students and teenagers across Irish Secondary Schools everything they need to start growing some food, get a better understanding of what goes into the food they eat, and how they can make healthier choices in their own lives. The campaign involves four exciting challenges, which will take students on a fascinating journey where they will create their own food business and soup recipe while learning all about where food comes from.

Search is on for best young Food Entrepreneurs in OffalyFree growing kits will be delivered to all of the teachers who register for the 2019 competition. The kits will include everything the students need to grow spinach including the seeds, pots, soil and plenty of expert growing recipe development tips from GIY and Cully & Sully.

In the final phase, they will be asked come up with a soup recipe and business plan. Three classes will then be selected for the competition finale. These finalists will be invited to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch scenario at the home of GIY, GROW HQ in Waterford on Wednesday the 15th May, where the winning class will be selected and crowned ‘GROW 2 CEO’ Champions 2019.

Speaking ahead of the upcoming competition deadline, Michael Kelly of GIY said, “Last year’s competition was a phenomenal success, it is really interesting to see the keen level of interest and the vast knowledge that teenagers have about their food – they are far more interested than their peers of ten or twenty years ago. We hope that the Grow 2 CEO campaign will encourage more students and schools to make growing and food nutrition a bigger part of the curriculum and therefore encourage more students to consider food entrepreneurship as a possible career choice in the future.”

Cullen Allen of Cully & Sully said, We are excited to launch GROW2CEO 2019 with our friends at GIY, We are especially excited to see what Irish secondary schools come up with this year. The 2018 campaign was hugely inspirational with some amazing presentations and product concepts developed. At Cully & Sully we are passionate about using excellent quality ingredients in the products we produce and we hope that the students will appreciate the importance of using fresh produce and of course find the joy in growing their own ingredients.

The growing kits will be delivered to all schools that register to take part and the competition and challenge will commence on 4th March. The ‘GROW 2 CEO’ grand final will take place on the 15thMay 2019, where a panel of judges will taste test the student’s products and review the business model and plans of the shortlisted finalists. The winning students will be awarded a prize pot of €5,000 which includes a €3,000 food garden for their school, champion hoodies for the winning class and the winning teacher will receive an overnight trip to Ballymaloe.

Participation is free and registration is open until 15th February 2019. School students and teachers planning to participate in this nationwide competition can now sign up to take part via


@GIYIreland     @cullyandsully


The 7 students of first and second-year from Colaiste Ghobnait on Inisheer Island were crowned Grow to CEO 2018 champions. The winning team out of over 7,000 student entries by a panel of judges which included Cully, Sully, Michael Kelly from GIY and special guest judge, wellness and food author Rozanna Purcell. The secondary school winners created a Rugged Rocket Soup, Wild Atlantic Soda Bread and Aran Goat’s Cheese recipes and dishes.

The winning team included Jackie Ni hUallachain, Aoibhin Ni Chonghaile, Patrick O Domhnaill, Jack O’Domhnaill, Aoife Ni Chonaill, Alex Burtenshaw and Michael Finn from Colaiste Ghobnait were selected. Commenting on the occasion their teacher Sharon O’Donnell said, “I am so proud of the dedication and the hard work that all of the students put into this competition , their commitment to learning how to and growing their own food is inspirational, the students and I would like to thank the Islanders and the community of Inisheer for sharing their vast knowledge of using local seaweeds and growing food on the island organically and more.”


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