Big changes ahead for Bakers Delight

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 3rd May 2017

Bakers Delight is set for change with its original founders stepping down from the CEO role after 37 years.

Roger and Lesley Gillespie opened the first Bakers Delight in Melbourne in 1980 with their friend Gary Stephenson. After growing the business into a global franchise, the pair have decided to hand the reins over to daughter Elise, and her husband, David Christie.

Both Elise and David have been involved in the business for the past decade and say they now have “aggressive plans” to grow the business.

“We have aggressive plans to grow the business, with the Gillespie Family vision for 2030 to grow store numbers to 800 in Australia, 400 in Canada and a further 150 across other markets including New Zealand,” David said.

Bakers Delight first entered Canada in 2003 where it currently has 50 stores operating under the name, COBS Bread.

Bringing Australians back to bakery bread

Now in the top role, Elise and David say they are ready to take up the fight against cheap supermarket bread and the trend towards eating less gluten.

“Whilst we have about 15 per cent share of the bread market in Australia, we know that we need to be constantly demonstrating product and service innovation to stay ahead of the pack,” Elise said.

Both Roger and Lesly Gillespie will stay part of the business with the pair remaining on the Bakers Delight board as founding directors. Roger will also serve as chairman of the board.


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