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Euan Spark Q&A: Getting to know former Dundee United footballer who co-founded a speciality coffee roaster with Rangers star John Souttar

Maison Dieu founders Euan Spark and John Souttar
Maison Dieu Coffee Roasters founders Euan Spark and John Souttar. Image: Gareth Jennings/DC Thomson

Former Dundee United footballer Euan Spark co-founded Maison Dieu Coffee Roasters in Brechin with Rangers star John Souttar. Here Euan gives an insight into his caffeine-fuelled world.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m 25, and I live in Kirriemuir. I was brought up in a small village in Angus called Inchbare. I went to the small primary school at Stracathro and then onto Mearns academy, where I left at 15 to play football for Dundee United. Since then, I’ve played with Dunfermline, Elgin and Brechin, where I am currently playing.

What made you go from football to coffee?

The dream was always to be a professional footballer, and things got off to a good start after signing with Dundee United and making my debut for the club when I was 18. Unfortunately, my career didn’t go the way I wanted, and I had to turn to part-time football and look for a job. As my younger years in life were fully concentrated on football, I found it hard to adapt to working life outside the sport. The jobs I had were great, but deep down I knew I didn’t want to do them forever. I always loved coffee, so when my friend John Souttar (former Dundee United player and current Rangers star) and his wife Kayley asked me to be part of the Maison Dieu, I was absolutely delighted.

Euan Spark is tipping his side to Highland League success this season. Image: SNS
Euan Spark in action.

Tell us about Maison Dieu Coffee Roasters?

A We are a small independent coffee roaster in Brechin. We opened just under a year ago. We source all our own coffee, roast the beans on site and sell to other cafes in the area and further afield. We have an online shop where customers can buy our coffee and a takeaway window serving coffees and treats. Our first year has been really busy – the business has grown so much in such a short time. We have exciting plans to keep expanding and just took on a new member of staff. The dream is to have a cafe in Edinburgh or Glasgow.

What made you set up camp in Brechin?

It’s local to us all. Brechin, for me, has significant ties as I was brought up five minutes away, played football as a kid here and now play with the senior team. Brechin is filled with great people and a huge compassionate community, so we felt that bringing speciality to the town would be something new and fresh.

Euan Spark in barista mode at Maison Dieu

Highlights of your job?

Meeting so many people. I have made some great relationships with our regulars and love to hear their stories. When we get new customers, it’s great to see their positive reaction to tasting the coffee.

What job would you do if you weren’t doing this?

I would’ve loved to still be playing as a full-time footballer as that was my dream, but already having a taste of that, I can say I now wouldn’t want to be working any other place than Maison Dieu.

Euan Spark in action for Dundee United in 2014.

Where in the world are you happiest?

Last year I went up to Skye in a VW campervan and absolutely loved it. I love being outside, walking through the hills, so anywhere up north for me.

Last book you read?

I’m not big into books, but if it was one, it would be a coffee book, no doubt.

Who inspires you?

Got to be my mum. She’s the hardest worker I’ve ever met and always does extra to help me and my sister out. She brought us up on her own, and we are both so grateful. She still comes to every game I play, and she’s in for a coffee nearly every day.

Euan loves Portree on the Isle of Skye.

Your house is on fire – what one item do you save?

I’d have to say my dog, Henry.

First thing you’d do if you won £1 million?

Probably convert the garage into a bar.

Favourite holiday destination?

Portugal. My pal lived across there, so I would always spend summers exploring the different cities. Vilamoura is a big favourite, especially if there are a few games of golf involved.

Vilamoura is one of Euan’s top holiday picks.

What makes you happy?

Playing football on a Saturday… depending on the result. There’s something about being in the dressing room before a game that is like nothing else, then getting to play what you love doing in front of a crowd. After the game, I love spending time with the family.

What makes you sad?

Getting beat on a Saturday.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I would have said no, but after meeting my partner Becca she might have changed that. We met six years ago and have been by each other’s sides since then.

What was the first album you ever bought?

Meat Loaf – Bat out of Hell.

What is the best advice you have ever received, and who did it come from?

I was always taught to work hard, be polite and respectful to your elders from a young age from my Mum.

What do you do to unwind?

A I like long walks with the dog, gardening, and golfing to unwind. Anything outside on a nice day is perfect for relaxing.

Biggest regret?

Missing my sister’s graduation when I was playing for Dunfermline.


What or who are you proudest of?

My Mum and what she has done in her life. I always look up to her and take her advice when in difficult times.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

To shave my head earlier! I hung onto the losing battle for too long when I should have just braved the shave.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?

Moving out. I’m a mummy’s boy so leaving my mum to move in with Becca was a hard day.

Hardest thing you’ve had to give up during the pandemic?

Becca and I never saw each other for months due to the restrictions. It was hard as I was still able to play football and work.

Could you save someone’s life if they were dying in the street?

I have been trained in first aid but I wouldn’t fancy trying to save someone’s life.

What’s your motto?

Live life rather than survive.