Since 1980, our bakers have been committed to ensuring every loaf, every roll and every bun is a delight to bake, a delight to eat and delivered through a delightful customer experience.
You may not realise it, but your bread has undergone an amazing journey well before you take it home and tuck in. Our flour is sourced from Aussie farms, processed by family-owned millers and lovingly crafted into bread by our bakers. Take the journey with us.
In 1980, Roger and Lesley Gillespie opened the first Bakers Delight in Hawthorn, Victoria. Since then, we’ve been delighting our customers every day with delicious, freshly baked bread. From our classic loaves to our artisanal sourdoughs, our bread is baked fresh every day using traditional recipes and real ingredients.
Still proudly family-owned and operated by joint CEOs Elise Gillespie & David Christie, Bakers Delight is now Australia’s most successful bakery franchise and can be found in more than 700 locations across Australia, Canada, USA and New Zealand.
Here’s a timeline of some of our proudest achievements, since first opening our doors in 1980
Roger and Lesley Gillespie opened the first Bakers Delight in Hawthorn, Melbourne, with their friend Gary Stephenson. The bakery’s still going strong today and the wider Bakers Delight business remains in family hands. In 2017, Roger and Lesley appointed their daughter Elise and her husband, David Christie as joint CEOs before taking up positions on the Bakers Delight Board.
In 1988, Roger and Lesley owned 15 bakeries. “We realised that we would need a different management structure,” Lesley said. “This led to our investigation and research into the franchising industry.” Now, we offer franchise opportunities in bakeries in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.
With our franchising concept firmly in place, we had opened 20 bakeries by our tenth year. This number was set to grow significantly in the following years.
In 1991, the first interstate franchise was opened in the city of churches. We were excited to bring our delicious, fresh bread to Adelaide.
We released our first ever TV commercial to the public, which showcased our delicious products and wonderful staff. It also included the first use of our iconic Bakers Delight jingle.
Over 1993-94, we expanded nationally and opened Sydney, New South Wales in April 93, Brisbane, Queensland in September 93, and Perth, Western Australia in March 94.
1994 was a monumental year for one of Australia’s favourite snacks. A hungry baker thought of blending his two favourite flavours together for a morning snack. He invented the Cheesymite Scroll and the rest, as they say, is history.
In November, we went international for the first time, heading across the Tasman to open a Bakers Delight in Auckland. This was the first of many bakeries in New Zealand.
Following a breakthrough growth period across Australia and New Zealand, we reached a total of 225 bakeries in operation.
Early folklore suggests Breadhead’s creation was a magical transformation from a piece of dough. A tin of flour fell into a bag of magic dust – and thus Breadhead was born.
Since 1999, we’ve raised more than $18 million for BCNA. A landmark partnership, the money goes directly to the support of the thousands of Australias and their families who are affected by breast cancer.
Our bakeries in Western Australia began raising funds for the Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth by donating money from Hot Cross Bun sales and on-counter donation tins. This partnership was the catalyst for a national fundraiser to support children’s hospitals all around Australia. Now, we call it our Bundraiser Day and it’s held every year in the lead up to Easter.
A continued period of expansion resulted in our number of operating bakeries reaching an impressive total of over 400.
Bakers Delight claims back-to-back Australian Franchise System of the Year awards. These prestigious awards (presented by the Franchise Council of Australia) recognise excellence in franchising – an honour we happily shared with our dedicated network of Franchisees.
In November, we opened our first Canadian store under the COBS Bread brand. We launched our Edgemont bakery in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was the first of 11 COBS Bread bakeries to open in Canada in 12 months.
By 2004 we had successfully expanded into Canada and were experiencing further growth in Australia and New Zealand. This brought our total up to more than 600 bakeries in operation.
We’re so proud of our continued support of BCNA and were honoured to receive the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Community Business Partnership (Multi-site large business) from John Howard.
A quarter of a century! It may have felt like just yesterday that we opened our first bakery in Melbourne, but Bakers Delight celebrated turning 25 in style.
Three years after COBS Bread first opened its doors to the Canadian public, we were thrilled to move into two more provinces. We opened in Edmonton Alberta and Toronto Ontario.
We introduced our new Hi-Fibre Lo-GI range, to help give our customers longer lasting energy. Tastier and softer than most white breads, our Hi-Fibre Lo-GI bread proved a real winner with our customers and is still one of our top selling breads.
We were proud finalists for Excellence in Community Practice in the BRW Awards, held every year by prestigious magazine Business Review Weekly.
Our Pink Bun campaign raised more than $800,000 for Breast Cancer Network Australia. BCNA CEO, Lyn Swinburne AM, said 2010’s fundraising achievement was an incredible celebration of our 10 years working together.
We put a lot of time and effort into making sure every single slice of bread we produce is up to the same high standard. So we were thrilled you noticed and voted us the winner of the annual Most Trusted Brands Award in Reader’s Digest.
Our delicious bread continued its rise in Canada, with COBS Bread expanding to Saskatoon and making Saskatchewan our fourth Canadian province.
Our record breaking Pink Bun Campaign raised an amazing $1.79m for BCNA, taking our total to more than $15 million since our proud partnership began.
Bakers Delight and COBS Bread can now be found in more than 700 locations across Australia, Canada, USA and New Zealand. That’s a lot of bread being baked fresh and delivered to a lot of happy customers.
The launch of the Wholegrain LowFOD™ Loaf was a game changer for Australians with food intolerances. This breakthrough in bread has been rigorously tested for appropriate levels of FODMAPs, allowing those with intolerances and sensitive tummies to enjoy bread without the discomfort.
The Australian Retailers Association named Bakers Delight as the nation’s best franchise business for 2019. The prestigious awards are an annual celebration of the very best in retailing across Australia and an opportunity to shine the spotlight on those businesses that excelled throughout the year.
Everyone was talking about BCNA and our Pink Bun campaign after Facebook blocked us from running our campaign ads, deeming them offensive. The campaign, which featured topless breast cancer survivors bravely showing their scars, gained worldwide media attention. The campaign went on to raise almost $1.5 million (along with some much-needed awareness) for the cause.
How time flies! This year we celebrated the past 40 years and set our sights on the next 40. As Australia’s largest bakery franchise, we can’t wait to see what the future has in store.
Over the past 20 years, the Bakers Delight network and our wonderful customers have raised over $20 million for Breast Cancer Network Australia.