A COMPANY director has swapped digital marketing for desserts after coming up with a cookery business idea during lockdown.

Darren Butler, 32, from Basingstoke, was left feeling financially vulnerable when work at his social media marketing firm dried up.

Forced to apply for universal credit to pay his rent and bills, Darren told The Gazette he was desperately looking for something to do.

He said: “I had to apply for universal credit just to pay for rent and bills. I was sitting around bored, so started making cheesecakes to give me something to do."

What initially started as a domestic treat for the family, soon spread to friends and family with the help of the Facebook.

Darren set up The Proper Cheesecake Company and is now selling four cakes a day.

He said: “After seeing the post of the cheesecake, many friends and family started contacting me to make them one and it simply snowballed from there”.

The venture which began 60 days ago has caught the eye of many as his Facebook page gained more than 700 sweet-toothed followers.

While Darren's cheesecake company has just taken off, his love for the dessert dates back to his school days.

"It's always been my go-to dessert. I made my first ever cheesecake in food tech in year nine and it was my only A*. Since then, it is something I have always made, especially for Sunday roasts."

When asked about his future hopes, Darren said he felt optimistic and plans on using cash from his new venture to pay for his wedding in 2022. “I have 600 days to sell enough cheesecakes to pay off the wedding,” he said.

Darren added: "I think the global situation has opened up everyone's eyes to all kinds of businesses and new start-up ideas like mine." He said he was thankful for all the positive feedback.

He added: “I feel extremely thankful as the support has motivated me to keep going."