At the Magical Mushroom Company, we are committed to being a great place to work. We are an accredited living wage employer and certified by the Living Wage Foundation.

We are a fast-paced, energetic and focused team, taking pride in delivering a high-quality product that works in harmony with nature.

Our people are the driving force behind our success bringing their passion and commitment to the product and workplace every day.

You can see evidence of this in how much we’ve achieved since our launch in 2019.

With a diverse mix of industry backgrounds, our multi-skilled workforce are inspired by our ambition and excited for what the future holds.

We are now regularly seeking employee feedback through the Gallop Q12 ongoing employee survey that measures employee engagement. All this helps our team provide the high levels of service our clients expect.


Paul Gilligan
Chief Executive Officer

Leading the company’s vision and implementation of strategy, Paul has a wealth of international management experience across a broad range of industries from construction to food retailing and spent 14 years at Sainsbury’s in senior roles, winning a number of industry awards. He was recently awarded an Innovate UK grant leading to a patent file and listed as co-inventor.

Founder of MMC Holdings International Ltd in 2020, which controls all the subsidiary companies in the UK and Europe, has been the driving force behind the company’s large-scale growth and identity.

Continues to focus on leading the talented team and maintaining a positive culture, making the Magical Mushroom Company® a great place to work, while helping more companies significantly remove polystyrene as a packaging solution.

Robert Allen
Chief Operating Officer

Joined MMC in August 2021. Rob is leading the company’s ambitions around Quality, Lean Manufacturing and industry-leading process standardisation, along with the achievement of ISO 9001. Undertakes key responsibilities for our Mushroom® Packaging operations around the safety of all our employees, quality sales/business development, industrial design and production.

Rob has 20 years’ experience working across many markets including automotive, transport and medical most recently as Director of Operations at McLaren Applied.

With a Masters in Business Administration and a first-class degree in Engineering, Rob first worked at BMW in 2001 then started his journey at McLaren in 2008 with roles in quality, engineering, ultimately running operations in McLaren Applied.

Natalia Peliugaeva
Chief of Staff

Joined the team in 2020 and works relentlessly behind the scenes to solve problems, liaise with stakeholders and is the link between the team and the CEO /Board. Natalia is the custodian of MMC’s strategy & culture and leads internal and external communication, investor relations, balanced scorecard and company meeting management.

Has a background working in corporate finance at a boutique investment bank in London, where she supported all stages of the deal cycle, specifically leading the research team, fundraising and sell-side transactions.

Qualified with a BA in International Economic Relations and MSc in Business & Financial Management from Durham University

Matthew Soh
Director of Engineering

Matthew is an experienced process engineer and is currently working with MMC to incorporate state-of-the-art automation systems into its manufacturing processes.

With a focus on bringing processes in line with Industry 4.0 and beyond, in order to improve flexible production capacity and service quality, ultimately, to improve customer satisfaction.

Matthew graduated in Management Sciences from the University of Manchester in 1996 and he has since headed the Manufacturing Operations of the Process Engineering and Product Development functions pertaining to industrial equipment and machinery.



Tim Sykes
Chairman, Non-Executive Director

Tim is recognized as one of Europe’s top 50 green angels by the Financial Times Sifted newsletter. With a storied career in the financial industry, he has held pivotal roles such as the Global Head of Financial Institutions at Credit Agricole CIB, Vice Chairman of Global Banking at HSBC, and Deputy Group Treasurer at Standard Chartered.

Co-founder of Fintech Connex, Tim is committed to advancing financial digitalization. He also serves as a non-executive director at Salcombe Brewery and The Scottish Bee Company. His recent investment in our company underscores his confidence in our vision and his crucial role in our preparation for the Series A funding round.

Ryszard Bublik
Non-Executive Director

Ryszard is strategic advisor to the CEO, MMC board and an expert in company financing. He has extensive experience of developing growth strategies that will deliver shareholder value.

Acts as Non-Executive Director with more than 25 years of advisory experience and has a wide network within the MMC investor network and beyond.

Started his career in investment banking before joining international advisory firm Brunswick focusing on financial transactions and crisis work. Most recently he founded Social360, an industry-leading social media monitoring and analysis company.

Adam Barnett
Non-Executive Director

Adam brings over 25 years of expertise to his role, with a notable history that includes serving as President of the Food Division at Klöckner Pentaplast, where he managed a €1 billion operation across 22 plants.

His career began at LINPAC Packaging, progressing through significant positions that have highlighted his proficiency in Food Packaging, General Packaging, Thermoforming, Board Leadership, and Business Strategy. His appointment to our board is strategic, offering deep industry insights that are crucial as we navigate forward. Adam's distinguished track record and visionary leadership are key to driving MMC towards unprecedented success.


Jon Hartland
Senior Leadership Advisor

Jon has acted as board and leadership advisor since company inception and has been inspirational in guiding the team on HSE, risk management, process, leadership, company scorecard, values, performance management and management structure.

On retirement, was Sainsbury’s longest-serving director and held a number of senior roles including interim Board Retail Director, with financial and operational responsibilities for 1,650 stores. Continues to be joint chair of the Sainsbury’s veterans along with his role as chair of Sainsbury’s archive and new museum project.

Jon acts as Chair of the MMC board in a consultancy capacity and continues to assist the company maintain high-quality corporate governance.

Dr Sally Beken
Senior Board Advisor

Sally is an industry expert in polymers with over 30 years’ experience in research, innovation and collaboration and in her role of Non-Executive Director advises MMC on sustainability policies, environmental accreditation and carbon measurement.   

 Currently, she is the manager of the materials team at Knowledge Transfer Network with polymers again a speciality; also founder and network manager for the UK Circular Plastics Network. Leads the team at Innovate UK for the Sustainable Smart Plastic Packaging challenge.

Qualified with a BSc in Chemistry and PhD in Polymer Science, both whilst studying at Birmingham University.

Greg Nugent
Executive Creative Director (Consultant)

Greg acted as Board chair for the first 18 months and has had an immeasurable impact on the strategy, direction and branding of the company, including the Magical Mushroom Company®️ name. He is now focused on MMC’s next stage of branding and communications.

Held roles of Chief Marketing Officer both Eurostar during its move to London St Pancras, and London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, sitting on the executive board of LOCOG. Chair of Nottingham Board for Culture and Creativity and recently awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts from Nottingham Trent University.

Runs his own influential bespoke communications agency, founder of Harder Than You Think films, which has produced a double Emmy-award winning film, Rising Phoenix, about the history of the Paralympics on Netflix and was the Creative Director and Producer of the COP26 ‘Earth To Cop’ opening ceremony.

Peter Lumley-Savile
Legal Counsel

Responsible for contracts, intellectual property, and all other legal aspects for MMC and sites as an advisor for MMC Holding International Ltd and Magical Mushroom Company®’s Europe boards. Integral to MMC on all contract negotiations and legal advice.

 Peter is a Partner at Keystone Law with solid experience as a commercial lawyer, spanning a broad range of relevant sectors and transactions.

Has particular experience in advising on and drafting contracts in the technology, publishing and media, commercial insurance, hotels and leisure, retail, manufacturing and technology spaces, as well as in intellectual property and consumer protection.

Robert Del Naja
Creative Consultant

In his role for MMC, Rob is helping bring together a number of exciting creative innovations, set to be launched in 2022.

Robert is an artist, musician and activist most noted for co-founding Massive Attack; pioneering street art techniques; and multi-disciplinary innovations in the use of data visualisation and AI technology executed within the realms of art, music and documentary.

Has written multiple film scores such as 2008 Palme d'Or-winning film Gomorrah.

In 2009, he received the British Academy's Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. He was presented with a Royal College Of Art honorary doctorate in 2021.

Antony Wigglesworth
Investor Relations Director

Antony has over 25 years of experience in investment banking and alternative investments.

He has worked in global markets, hedge funds, private equity, venture capital., and is co-founder of a successful loan servicing business managing £200k loans, where he developed innovative tech solutions.

A dedicated advisor and investor, Antony excels in connecting startups with funding through his wide financial network.


Stuart Townsend
Head of Operations

Leads plant operations and manufacturing daily business activities. Responsible for managing resources, developing and implementing an operational plan and ensuring that procedures are carried out according to the company’s process standardisation.


Also responsible for overseeing all phases of the new plant opening process, making sure new MMC plant projects are operational on time within scope and budget; led the opening of Attenborough and Sofia plants.

Stuart brings extensive experience with over 30 years in the food retailing sectors, having held several senior positions in a variety of roles including marketing, Head of Corporate Internal Communications and managing large flagship Sainsbury’s stores with teams of up to 600 people.

Sarah Bhyrodin
Head of Sales

Sarah provides first-class sales & service for all MMC’s current and future customers with a clear focus on identifying new sectors and blue chip clients.

An experienced sales leader with a track record of building strong relationships, business development and account management with over 12 years of sales experience

An advocate for sustainability, Sarah was previously a Retail Account Manager and held various sales positions in the technology sector for over 8 years with Hewlett Packard.


Donna Bryan
Head of Finance

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Ryan Little
Head of Industrial Design

Ryan is responsible for designing all packaging solutions for clients and has led the design function since inception. Produces initial designs and 3D prints for growing prototypes and supplies clients with everything from detailed Augmented Reality renderings to fabrication drawings.

Twenty years of experience in 3D modelling and an experienced Design Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the construction industry, Ryan is skilled in AutoCAD, photography and graphics.

Wealth of knowledge in free form and geometric shape designs and recently listed as co-inventor on a patent file for an Innovate UK grant.

Bozhidar Stoyanov
Country Manager - Sofia

Responsible for setting up MMC’s new Sofia plant and company structure, along with implementing the manufacturing processes, Bozhidar is a qualified engineer with an MBA and MSc in Chemistry.

Has more than 20 years’ experience in manufacturing working in industrial management, manufacturing and supply chain field as an executive in medical, construction and multinationals with P&L responsibility.

Bozhidar has more than 10 years’ experience in successfully implementing lean processes at multiple factories. Responsible for managing several successful production start-ups, launching these businesses and boosting them in fully operational condition.

Ian Chan
Plant Manager – Attenborough

Ian is one of our latest recruits overseeing day-to-day operation of our Attenborough site, applying his extensive production knowledge to drive customer satisfaction through high-quality, on-time delivery. 

Has 14 years’ experience working with the food production industry, the last 8 of which have been spent working for Melton Foods. Ian has a MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and LLB (Hons) in Law.

Whilst working for Melton Foods held many senior positions including Senior Frontline Manager, Area Leader and more recently Area Manager.

Jeanette Branwhite
Compliance Manager

Jeanette is responsible for assisting the COO in promoting, implementing and developing the safety culture within the whole MMC estate.

Handles all requirements in terms of fire, health and safety and standard operating procedures for environmental compliance. Ensures laboratory data capture and recording are met.

Extensive experience in compliance at both unit and operations level. Fifteen years’ experience with Sony, Compass, Sodexo and most recently CH&Co group as Operations Support Manager and all roles involving risk and health and safety processes.

Denny Moyers
Business Development Manager - UK

Denny joined in 2022 as a grow technician, before moving to the sales team to support the increasing demand for Mushroom® Packaging.

With a background in Ecology, Denny is passionate about helping clients achieve their sustainability goals by moving away from fossil fuel based polystyrene and other plastic foams to a biodegradable alternative that is kind to our soils.

With experience in customer relations and project management, Denny looks forward to expanding MMC’s network as Business Development Manager.


Ben Toplis
Assistant Manager - Attenborough

MMC’s first employee at Attenborough and now responsible for leading and training the growing number of technicians at the plant.

Has particular responsibility for achieving a consistent growth quality, in line with customer expectations an agreed and documented specifications.

Deputies for Plant Manager, helps the production team operate, set up, clean and troubleshoot equipment and records information ensuring all required procedures are followed to grow the perfect product for our customers.



Zainab Vayani
Environmental Scientist (Lab)

Runs the MMC environmental laboratory writing reports, conducting plate test experiments and analysing contaminants around the company’s plants.

Simultaneously studying MSci Natural Sciences at UCL after receiving the London Opportunity Scholarship with research specialising in atmospheric chemistry and its environmental implications.

Mladen Mladenov
Lead Technician - Sofia

Joined the team in the Summer of 2022 and acts as the deputy for Sofias Plant Manager, assisting the production team operating and making our first European plant in Sofia a successful one.

Has over twenty years experience as a Production Manager; particularly in managing staff, raw materials, warehouse and equipment maintenance and equipment repair,

Has particular responsibility for achieving a consistent growth quality and engagement with new clients in Bulgaria and beyond.

Sacha Storrie
Finance Executive

Assists the Group Financial Controller in overseeing the company’s financial data and processes along with responsibility for accounts receivable and payable. Reconciles the accounts for MMC and ensures efficient invoice processing with both clients and suppliers.

Ben Heasman
Head of Prototyping

Ben leads the prototyping and testing phase at our Esher site, applying care and craft to the process of turning exciting design into mycelium reality.

Also responsible for bespoke projects and Research & Development, Ben draws on a background of rigorous attention to detail and creativity from over a decade in FE/HE education and the photography industry.

Ben has taught at University of the Arts London and holds an MA in Sculpture, and brings a high level of skill and experience in communication around visual design/practice into the successful process of prototyping here at MMC.

Sem Abit
Research Associate

Sem joined the team in November 2022, currently working as a Research Associate in collaboration with the University of Nottingham.  With a passion for pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery, Sem is poised to make meaningful contributions to our company's endeavours in research, leveraging their expertise and enthusiasm to drive innovation and progress in the field.

With a distinguished academic background culminating in a master's degree in Drug Discovery from the University of Nottingham and a Bachelor's degree in Biotechnology from Anna University, Sem brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the company.

Sophie Rush
Product Design Associate

Sophie joined MMC in January 2024 as a part-time industrial designer, collaborating closely with Ryan. Alongside this role, she is pursuing an integrated master's degree in Product Design Engineering at the University of Nottingham, currently in her third year.

Through her studies, Sophie has developed proficiency in SolidWorks CAD software and simulation drop testing, skills which are invaluable to MMC's future projects, particularly in designing packaging for white goods. She possesses a high level of technical detail and a substantial knowledge of emerging technologies, enhancing our design solutions. Sophie's keen interest in sustainability, a significant focus of her academic studies, aligns perfectly with our company’s core values.


Natasha Walker
Business Development Manager - USA

Natasha educates clients on the wonders of Mushroom® Packaging and converts into using MMC solutions and has successfully helped lead the company’s sales direction toward repeats orders and large-scale manufacturing.

Focused on customer relations and development of strong sales structures, ensuring business is driven by environmentally friendly standards and sustainability.

An experienced business development manager with 10 years of experience working with European and U.S. companies helping them access foreign markets. MSc in Nutrition and Public Health and background in consulting roles with B2B companies in FMCG and sports-related products.

Dr Mark Thornton
Science Consultant

Mark has acted as a consultant and scientific advisor to MMC since its inception and leads us  on grant submissions and execution of the company’s microbiology protocol controls.

Has PhD in Cell Biology and Pharmacology from Imperial College London and MSc in cell & structural biology from University of Manchester. His professional experience spans lab-based scientific research, new product planning and corporate strategy.

Mark is an experienced senior executive who has held various roles in strategic development within the life sciences, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, including as Director of New Product Planning at Shionogi Inc and International Business Analyst at Roche.


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