Mr Lee’s Pure Foods appoint three new key members of the team

Supporting Mr Lee’s rapid growth, the award-winning noodle company have recently employed three key members in order to properly meet the demands of the quickly expanding business. Mike Connolly, Martin Verspeak and Charlie Knight, all from different backgrounds, will combine their extensive experience in the industry and varied skillsets to push the business in new directions.

Mike Connolly has taken role as the General Manager of Mr Lee’s Pure Foods, being responsible for mapping out the company’s future and taking CEO Damien Lee’s vision and aiding to make it a reality. Mike has had products listed in almost all of the usual suspects of the UK’s mainstream food retailers, including M&S, Whole Foods and others. After working in wholesale C&C and food service he moved into supply chain solutions with Foodpack, completing his learning from factory to shelf to kitchen.

“Having been involved in retail for over 20 years I’ve worked on major brands such as Ribena, Lucozade, Kingsmill and Nando’s I’ve never been more excited about the opportunity that was presented to me when I was asked to head up the team at Mr Lees.  The chance to be part of a global movement to provide premium, healthier and convenient food solutions was not one to be missed” – said Mike Connolly.

It was at Foodpack where he met the Mr Lee’s team, impressed by their product, and more importantly by their enthusiasm for global domination. Outside of work Mike is an alcohol cessation therapist, and has held seminars in London, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as running his own clinic in Manchester.

He continues, “Helping people both professionally and privately is my way of making a difference and I’ll raise a cup of premium tasting, healthy noodles to that!”

Having worked in many channels in both the contract catering and vending markets in the UK for over 35 years, Martin Verspeak has a strong knowledge of these markets and love working on how Mr Lee’s will best offer their kiosk or vending technologies to these environs, in the future. Thus, Martin has taken the role of CTO at Mr Lee’s.

“At my first meeting with Damien, apart from the shorts and yellow shoes!! I knew I’d made a new friend and that Mr Lee’s Noodles would be a significant brand in the coming years. That much enthusiasm and excitement doesn’t come unless someone truly believes in what they are trying to do. I’m very pleased to offer my experience and expertise to this project and look forward to the coming challenging years!” – said Martin Verspeak

He has held senior positions with Compass group, Bunzl and VMC ltd in recent years before starting his own consultancy 9 years ago. Out of work he love staying in his house in France which demands a lot of his time and upon which he’s happy to give. He likes golf, badminton and yoga.
He continues, “All of my colleagues add their own expertise and personality to breed a fun, driven working environment that focuses on delivering true customer satisfaction along with a bit of added ‘je ne sais quoi’ and I enjoy working with them all.” 

Charlie Knight, originally a Bournemouth University graduate, will be heading up the sales department as Head of Sales. Charlie left a career in football due to an injury to then start a career in FMCG with Twinings. This sparks a passion for the industry, especially for premium, healthy and innovative brands.

“I am really excited to be joining Mr Lee’s Noodles. The first day I met Damien and the team I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of – maybe it was because Damien greeted me with a hug rather than a traditional handshake! It ticked all the boxes – an amazing brand, a clear strategy and a truly incredible product which will change an unhealthy category for the better.  But not only that, a team with passion, energy and positivity this which is really important!” – said Charlie Knight.

With experience in working for companies such as Twinings, ice cream startup Oppo Ice Cream who featured on Dragon’s Den and more recently heading up the Out of Home team at Itsu, he has developed key experience in all sectors of FMCG. In his spare time, he consults for like minded start up brands to help them get into the market. Away from work, he likes to surf, play sport and loves his food.

He continues, “I believe we can make Mr Lee’s Noodles a successful global company that will help consumers be healthier in a convenient way. Now that sounds exciting, right?!”


Damien Lee. Founder and CEO of Mr Lee’s Pure Foods, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mike, Charlie and Martin to the team. We are sure they will become wonderful assets and additions to the company. Their appointments underpins our commitment to growth of Mr lee’s Pure Foods within the food sector.”

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