About Us

Extract from the Anglo Celt:

The Cully family are a household name in the business life of Co. Cavan and with the town of Arva in particular. The name of the late Barney Cully is synonymous with the glory days of Cavan football when the Breffni county trod the national stage, their footballers equal to the greatest to come out of that citadel of Gaelic football the Kingdom of Kerry.

The blue jersey is still a source of pride and with Cavans performance in the Ulster Championship once again holding out promise, it is time to look forward to the summer ahead with hope.

Like his uncle and his late father, Tom, Barney Cully Junior has a deep passion for the GAA giving stirling service at club and county level to the organisation. In more recent years he was widely known and respected for his work as PRO of Cavan County Board.

However, it is as the head of a well known, family-owned bakery firm that he is also held in such high regard by shop owners and customers alike in counties Cavan, Longford, Leitrim, Monaghan and Armagh.

Cullys Traditional Batch Loaf is a much sought after household food item being popular at all tea tables amongst adults and young people alike.

No matter where one happens to travel in Cavan and adjoining counties, you can be sure to see a consignment of fresh Cullys unsliced traditional batch looking out from the shelves. It resonates with tradition, wholesomeness and that wonderful sense of homeliness that fondly compels us to hark back to our own childhood years.

Barney informs us that Cullys Batch Loaf is still baked in the traditional way and that this gives it its unique flavour. While Cullys Bakery produces the batch in its unsliced and sliced variations, it is the traditional unsliced batch that is the novelty. It is a known fact that the freshly baked unsliced batch is snapped off the shelves by people who love its crispness and fulsome taste. Like timeless brand names such as Guinness or Coca Cola, the Cully family owned bakery with their traditional batch loaf have achieved a winning formula that cannot be emulated by the larger, modern day bakeries.

Barney Cully is careful to point out that employing traditional methods of baking is more time consuming but the end result is worth it and the customer is prepared to pay that few extra cents for something that is delightful to eat.

Cullys Craft Bakery is not just known for its batch loaves and at its modern, purpose-built bakery on the Cavan Road outside, Arva they produce soda breads, brown and white - which are yeast free and sugar free.

'We do a good trade in soda breads as well as bracks and cherry logs,' says Barney who also reveals that they also do an active trade in cakes.

Barney Cullys great grandfather started in business in Arva over a century ago. It continued on through his grandfather, T.F. Cully and down to his children, including Barneys father, Tom.

Cullys Bakery was founded in 1953 by Barney"s uncle, Michael. When Michael died suddenly in 1969 his wife, Kathleen, took over the running of the business and managed it until she retired.

Trained as a baker from a young age, Barney took over the bakery business several years ago and has pushed it forward as one of the countys best known family-owned concerns. The bakery was for long located at Main Street, Arva but space and other requirements necessitated either a major refurbishment of the old premises or the move to a green field site. Barney opted for the latter and a new bakery was built on a substantial site on the Cavan Road. It is a fine facility that continues the traditional baking methods long associated with Cullys Bakery.

Barneys son, BrĂ­an, has completed three years at the bakery college in Dublin and qualified with an honours degree last year. He is now involved in the business with Barney - the mantle of master baker passing on to the third generation of the family.

People have a vision of bakers working late into the night in order to produce fresh bread for the shops the next day.

Barney says: 'We start at 9pm and work until the early hours when we are finished. The bread goes out hot every day.'

Cullys vans are familiar on the roads of Cavan and adjoining counties early each morning as they supply to shops in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Longford and Armagh.

On the challenge from the larger bakeries and the huge multiples who retail their own branded bread, Barney Cully says it is still possible for a small family-owned bakery to compete. Cullys Craft Bakery supplies to Supervalu, Centra and other leading supermarkets as well as the traditional shops in the different towns and villages.

'We are on first name terms with all the owners and managers and they have direct contact with us,' he says.

He admits that the closure of the small country shops has posed a challenge for a bakery such as Cullys and he lists the countless number of rural shops that have closed down over the past ten or 20 years. Such shops were a bulwark of rural life and their passing is a huge loss to those communities, he says. However, Cullys Craft Bakery has geared itself to this new situation by extending their catchment area and thankfully being able to gain customers from new stores that have opened on the edge of towns in recent years.

'We cherish the relationship we have with all the different shops and retail outlets,' says Barney.

Cullys Craft Bakery demonstrates that there is still room for family owned enterprise - by producing a unique quality product that it is still possible to compete against much larger business entities with their slick marketing operations. Maybe it is the way forward - that smaller, slimmer businesses producing quality goods and having a close relationship with the consumer is what can give us back our future.