One of Australia’s most iconic and successful brands, Bakers Delight, is celebrating a major milestone birthday in 2020.

Marking 40 years in business, what started from humble beginnings with one shopfront has grown to become one of the country’s most successful franchises. Born-and-bread in 1980 by founders Lesley and Roger Gillespie, the family-owned business now boasts 650 stores world-wide, spanning Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, with over 500 franchise partners.

In 1980, Roger and Lesley saw a gap in the market, with Australians seeking quality, well-priced baked goods that were convenient. With Roger’s heritage in baking – both his father and grandfather were bakers – he and Lesley opened their first store in Hawthorn, Victoria, followed by a further 14 prior to launching their franchise model in 1988.

The origin of the name was conceived from the simple notion that they are bakers who live to delight. With a national footprint in Australia that now sees most Australians having a bakery within their neighbourhood, the distinctive burgundy logo and extensive list of iconic products form a part of the nation’s collective memory.

“Bakers Delight has evolved into somewhat of an institution in Australia. It’s likely most of us, both young and old, have a fond food memory that resonates with the brand. We’ve now been feeding Aussie households for four decades and we couldn’t be more delighted by it.” said Joint CEO, and daughter of Lesley and Roge, Elise Gillespie.

The global business remains family-owned and operated and directly employs almost 400 people with a further 8,000-9,000 bakers and sales staff employed across more than 650 bakeries.

As a result of the widespread success of Bakers Delight, the company has become a significant contributor to Australia’s franchising sector and the wider economy, paying approximately $250 million in wages annually and generating more than $250 million in business expenditure for their trusted network of suppliers.

As a result of COVID-19, Bakers Delight’s push towards online ordering, its utilisation of food delivery platforms and click-and-collect systems has accelerated, with further digital advancements to be rolled out across all bakeries in the near future.

To celebrate, Bakers Delight is running a 40th Birthday campaign in its Australian stores, giving out 40,000 of their iconic Cheesymite scrolls for one day only on Thursday, 29th September.