Darren Somerville was born and brought up in Glasgow, one of four brothers, he said "so we had a busy household."
After school he went to Reid Kerr college in Paisley, where he trained as a chef for year, but he admits it wasn't his first career choice, "I wanted to fly jets, but academically I wasn't that great so I had to think of something else."
He then went on to have a career in hospitality, working his way up through all departments to become a hotel manager working in both England as well as in Scotland.
He said, "when you are a manager of a hotel you have to step in to do everything, and you have to know everyone else's job. So if someone doesn't turn up or a disaster happens then you can step in."
He returned to his Glasgow roots to be closer to his family.
After the birth of his first child, Pierre, he explains, "my wife was from France, and she was having difficulty settling in a new country with a baby.
"My work hours didn't suit a young family so we decided that it was time for a complete change of career, and I went to work for my family's firm."
The family business was a packaging company called Somerville and Morrison.
He said, "I was one of the rebel ones growing up I didn't want to go into the family business.
"The business was needing modernised. Initially I came in to do the quality assurance side then I retrained as an accountant.
"At school, the careers advisor had kept saying you're good at maths, be an accountant but I hated maths at school," he laughs,"but I'm actually good at it."
After his parents retired the business was sold, but he continued to work as an accountant elsewhere.
He and his wife then decided to relocate over to France to give their now four boys a French upbringing.
While the family were living in France near Carcassonne, the children helped rekindled his love of baking.
He said over there the, "the food culture is completely different, we were surrounded by vineyards with fantastic weather. There was fresh produce in the markets, a very different way of living.
"In France at the boys school, they would ask the parents to contributed a dessert for lunch.
"Initially I only baked 20 muffins, but because everyone wanted them I ended up doing over a hundred."
His marriage then broke up, he said "we were out there for three years, and after a messy divorce in the French courts I got granted sole custody of the kids and I came back to Scotland as a single dad with four boys."
Darren settled in Elie in Fife, where his parents were living, and the boys fell back into the Scottish way of life very quickly.
Olivier was six when they moved back to Scotland, so he has been a single dad for six years now.
He said, "I had always been the cliched dad that was away out working while their mum was the one who did everything else but all of a sudden I had to do it all, so it was challenging.
"I had to change my whole approach with the boys, I was the strict dad before but I became very chilled and relaxed, with a handful of rules."
Now his eldest, Pierre is 22, Sean 20, Rémy 17 and Olivier is 12.
After coming back in Scotland, he worked as a financial controller, but about a year and a half ago he re-evaluated his career and made the decision to escape the corporate world and become his own boss.
Darren decided to turn his cake baking hobby into a business and The Muffin Man was born.
He said, "I went to the job centre, there was a scheme called the new enterprise scheme which was set up to help new businesses which I joined, it is run by Benarty Regeneration Action Group."
As a result, "I ended up getting my kitchen space at their Crosshill site."
He opened a cafe for the other tenants in the building, to provide fresh soup, toasties and cakes to help kickstart his business, but unfortunately lockdown happened.
He said, "so there was no point in opening, instead I just concentrated on online sales and making muffins for local farmers markets."
Benarty Regeneration Action Group, is better known as Brag Enterprises decided to launch 'The Pantry Project,' to feed locals who had been badly financially affected during lockdown.
Many people had been furloughed, or their household income had dropped, so it was difficult for a lot of families to make sure their kids had a meal.
Brag Enterprises asked Darren if he could help by making ready meals, and he volunteered his time, "it is my way of giving back."
He said, "it will be sad to have to give that up, but the enterprise scheme is ending and I'm moving to a new premises in St Monans this month."
During the past year and a half, Darren has grown his business and his brand and he said, "it is starting to pay off.
"A lot of people know who I am now, and I have a big following on social media and my customers are willing to travel to all the markets."
Most weekends, Darren can usually be found selling his muffins at various farmers markets throughout Fife, or at Common on the Croft in Leith on Sunday.
As a result of Covid restrictions he only displays a single cake of each type, although that is around twenty different flavours, but his full range is available online.
All the other muffins are kept safely behind the stall and then boxed up for the customer.
He is constantly busy baking, he said "I can make up to a thousand cakes each week for all the different markets I do and I also bake birthday cakes to order."
He also bakes for other businesses, he said, "I supply Muffin Man cakes to delis, cafes and tea shops and I brand them with the individual company's own edible logo."
He plans to keep doing the markets, as well as online orders and deliveries, but looking further ahead he might open a cafe or a shop in the future.
Just now he is content to look after his loyal core customers and get more people talking about, The Muffin Man
All in all Darren is glad he took the risk to start his own business, he said, "I am happy I did it, and it has brought me closer to home and to my kids.
"I'm no longer jetting around the world so it has definitely has been a good move."
He admits, "It has been a long hard slog, starting any business involves hard work and long hours, but at the end of the day you are only as good as the last cake you make."
His family are some of his greatest supporters, his youngest son Olivier loves his Rocky Road Muffin, which is one of his best selling flavours.
His eldest son Pierre, prefers the Apple Pie Muffin, which Darren explains, "is very fresh tasting, and full of apple pieces."
He has worked hard to develop his recipe, which he feels is the key ingredient to their success.
He explains the recipe took many years of perfecting, learning from feedback, he said, "it took a long, long time but we got there."
To get the Muffin Man off to a flying start, Darren worked with focus groups, including the lecturers of Fife College to select the right flavours and, crucially, get the price right.
He said, "there was a lot of work before I actually went out to sell to the public, but I think that has helped with customer satisfaction."
That customer response is vitally important to Darren, he said "I have put lots of smiles on faces, and I love that look of excitement, and peoples reaction when they taste the cakes.
"It makes it all worthwhile when they post a good recommendation or review on social media."
He describes one lady's reaction, saying, " she raved about her rhubarb and custard cupcake.
"If you read it, it sounded as if it was a romantic novel. She really thoroughly enjoyed that cake!"
Being a type one diabetic, Darren doesn't get to eat lots of cakes, but he says, "the smells are absolutely incredible when you open the boxes."
He is pragmatic about his condition, he said, "you can't moan about it, many people live with it so I just have to get on with it. I have plenty of volunteers to taste for me."
He is proud to have made such a big change in his life, he said, "I have accomplished a lot, and I have worked hard to try and build this business.
He adds, "I didn't want to be sitting in an office anymore."
Darren is proud of being a single father and bringing up four boys but he admits, that "it has been a challenging job."
He is equally proud of The Muffin Man, and said, "This is something I have done on my own, and now the Muffin Man brand is being talked about so I just need to keep going."