Finding Success in the Algarve

Citrina at Foral, Paderne

One could argue that there is no particular secret to entrepreneurial success - for the most part it revolves around adaptation. The ability to adapt an idea into a business, evolving it through the shifting seas that lie ahead, is a crucial trait for any new enterprise. With that in mind, consider the story of Citrina, a company that began when Andrew and Lindsey Henley-Welch moved to the Algarve and were met by a proverb: what do you do when life hands you lemons? 

Or in this case, oranges. 

Portugal in the 70s was so very different to the hub of tourism that now stands in its place, yet opportunity was still there to be found. For Andrew and Lindsey they found it amongst the beautiful orange groves that still grace the Algarvian vistas of today. Starting a citrus farm in 1970, they had produced their first crop of oranges by 1975 - and by 1980 their nursery was providing the majority of the local farming community with fruit trees. After proving a hit with the locals, it would not be long before they were the primary supplier of citrus trees to the entire Portuguese agricultural industry. Citrina had already laid deep enough roots to continue growing in strength - and bear considerable fruit. 
Sometimes, however, the trick to growth is to think small During the 1980s, where bigger was better, Citrina had established itself enticing the Portuguese landscaping market with intriguing varieties of ornamental flowering plants sourced from as far as Australia. Andrew, however, was downsizing...literally. He was experimenting with various citrus trees to grow small fruits in small pot sizes. The idea was to market these miniatures as ornamental plants across Northern Europe - this would become a reality when a prominent German customer first saw these prototypes at a local fair at Silves. The evolution of Citrina had taken a quantum leap.