HEARTS AND FLOURS
Founders Roger and Lesley Gillespie have stepped away from Baker’s Delight, though they still have roles on the board, after 37 years.
But their hearts are still in the business and they continue to have roles in the boardroom. This is their legacy...
• Providing fresh, healthy bread for Australian families (and other families in other countries in which the company has stores) for many years
• Establishing franchisees who in most cases have truly become the local baker, supporting their local community in many ways
• Providing innumerable first jobs for many young Australians as well as providing a career path for many to ultimately become franchisees themselves.
Roger says they want to see the business continue to grow and improve to ensure each bakery’s potential is maximised - not only in Australia, but in its Cobs subsidiary that has been established in Canada for more than 10 years.
Q&A WITH CO-FOUNDER LESLEY GILLESPIE
Is there anything you would have done differently?
This is a hard question, because when you set out on a path or make a decision you cannot see the future. With experience and hindsight I’d say we would have hired more skilled people at the appropriate times.
What are your expectations for your Canadian business?
The expectations are for our Canadian business to reach bakery penetration like that in Australia. We are well on the way to achieving this with nearly 100 bakeries across four provinces.
With a presence on the board, what do you want to achieve with the brand now?
Bakers Delight in Australia and New Zealand will continue to grow in sales and bakery numbers to serve the growing populations in both countries. We will adapt to changes (I think back to how different we are now to how we were in the ’80s), but we will stay true to our core: specialist bakers of bread and bread-related products from scratch every day at every location.
How will the trend for customisation change the franchising sector?
The strength of a franchise is the system. The strength of our franchise system is the way we run our bakeries, from the recipe book to the way we promote, but this does not stop our franchisees from putting their own touch on their business.
We have flexibility in many areas. For example, in our Pink Bun campaign (where we sell buns with pink icing to raise proceeds for the Breast Cancer Network Australia) many franchisees will go above and beyond to decorate their bakery in pink, encourage their sales staff to dress in pink and to do whatever it takes to help raise funds.
This individualisation is not in our franchise agreement, but we certainly applaud and encourage it.