MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 runner-up Matt Healy has announced he is stepping back from his first pub The Beehive in Thorner to focus on the expansion of Scandi-inspired café business Grön Kafés.
Healy's ongoing expansion of his "vegan-friendly" Scandinavian café business Grön in York and Leeds, as well as Matt Healy x The Foundry in Leeds – which recently announced changes to the menu format including a new tasting menu – were behind his decision to leave The Beehive.
Healy took over The Beehive in Thorner, West Yorkshire, as part of a new management team in July 2019, and the pub went on to establish a strong following with the support of customers from the village of Thorner and the surrounding area.
In a statement Healy said: "It's been a pleasure to get The Beehive back up and running again. It's a piece of history when it comes to the Leeds pub scene and I'm happy we've been able to give it another lease of life. But it's now time to let the team take the full reigns as I step back, along with my business partner Marc Cunliffe, to focus on Matt Healy x The Foundry and our on-going Grön Kafés expansion across the North. I wish The Beehive every success and will be popping in for a pint or two."
Healy leaves The Beehive in the hands of director Dale Wynter, who has taken on full ownership, along with Craig Thorpe as head chef and Jess Georgallis as general manager. Commenting on Healy's departure, Wynter said: "We're really excited for this next chapter of The Beehive. We're embracing the gastropub label, serving fantastic quality plates and providing a great place for locals and those from further afield to enjoy."
Under Healy's leadership The Beehive became known for its gastropub feel serving a menu with the strapline 'nowt fancy' of simple pub classics with a modern twist. At the time of filming MasterChef, Healy was regional development chef at Rational and has also worked at El Gato Negro in Manchester and Terroirs in London.