Roger is Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Bakers Delight, the largest national chain of bakeries in Australia with nearly 700 bakeries operating throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada and most recently the USA.
Roger’s first job was in Real Estate Management. In 1972 he began working in his family’s retail bakery business. In 1975 he started the Old Style Bread Centre chain of bakeries, later to become Brumby’s.
In May 1980, Roger, together with his wife Lesley and another partner started Bakery Delight in Hawthorn, Victoria. Roger & Lesley then went on to create Bakers Delight, which is still very much a family business with Roger and Lesley as co-Founders and their two children in leadership positions. Aaron who is based in Canada is the President of COBS Bread (North American trading name for Bakers Delight), overseeing the Canadian and USA businesses. Elise, along with her husband David Christie, are based in Melbourne and are the joint-CEOs overseeing the Australian and NZ businesses.
Bakers Delight is about creating an organisational culture that puts something back into the community, whether that’s through charitable donations or giving individuals the chance to pursue the dream of owning their own business. Bakers Delight is recognised as a leading corporate citizen in the country and has been a major corporate partner of the Breast Cancer Network Australia since 2000, raising more than $20 million over the past 20 years to support their work.
Roger has been inducted into the Hall of Fame for both the Swinburne University of Technology’s Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) and the Franchising Council of Australia. Roger has been named ‘Citizen of the Year’ for the City of Boroondara and was granted an Order of Australia for his tireless work within the community.
Board Positions & Responsibilities
Bakers Delight Holdings Ltd Founder Chairman 1980 –present.
Cranlana Programme 1999 -2019 board member.
Australian Retailers Association (ARA) board member 2006-2008 President 2008-2018.
Director of various private companies, including Jupiter Ionics Pty Ltd a Monash University spin off in the area of green ammonia.
Bionics Institute, an East Melbourne based medical research institute.
Chair of Change It: For Good Campaign Monash University.
Member World Mosquito Program philanthropic council.
Director Gillespie Family Foundation, which contributes to a range of initiatives including:
- World Mosquito Program via Monash University.
- Lungitude- based at the Alfred Hospital.
- Bradford Pathways Project Shepparton via La Trobe University.
- Lauriston Girls’ School, Loreto Toorak, Scotch College.
- Wheat Breeding Project at University of Melbourne.
- Australian Prostate Centre, Melbourne.
- BC Women’s Hospital Vancouver Canada.