Grandad who started business from nothing now 'could buy island'

A grandfather who built a business from zero to £ 100 million shared the secrets of his success – which earned him a private jet.

And all thanks to bees.

Steve Ryan, 63, is now flying around the world thanks to a shop on his kitchen table.

He is now a multimillionaire after selling his Bridlington-based business, Bee Health, to INW in Dallas.

Grandpa didn’t want to tell the mirror how much he had made on the deal but admitted how he could afford an island in the Bahamas and a Falcon private jet.

He said, “My bank manager said what I would buy first. But I don’t need anything. I have everything I have six racehorses.

“But I’ll be on an island in Asia from December to February.”

Steve started his bee products company in 1992 with his late wife Bea Ryan after being introduced to bees on his night shift picking sprouts.

“I started working there to lose some weight because I was 18 at the time,” he said.

“I liked the idea that 100,000 workers work for free. Honey bees are fascinating and phenomenal insects.

“When I was 25, I got a meeting house, and that’s how we started the job. We received two double tubs from an auction, one for spinning honey and one for spinning resin.

“We opened a tourist attraction on a honey farm in Scarborough and bought a small factory to make products for in-store sales.

“When we started it was crazy, we did the honey farm during the day and at night I went to the apiary to get more honey for the shelves for the next day. My wife would make scones for sale.

“Then the supplements page really picked up speed and sales went over the roof.

“As an uneducated person, it’s just a hard thing and a gamble.”

The company he sold supplies Holland & Barrett and is a major distributor of vitamins.

Bee Health was named one of the top 200 UK companies with the fastest growing international sales.

Mr Ryan said he was able to close the deal because the government allowed the company’s executives to travel overseas to do business if it was more than £ 100 million.


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