5 Lesley Gillespie


Baker’s Delight


$595 million* (with Roger Gillespie)

Starting in 1980 with just one bakery, Lesley Gillespie and her husband Roger Gillespie have transformed Bakers Delight into a multinational franchise that generates an estimated annual revenue of $595 million.

Since the 1980s, Gillespie has earned a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the community and support of charitable organisations,and developed a 15-year partnership between Bakers Delight and Breast Cancer Network Australia.

In an interview with SmartCompany in 2013 Gillespie said it’s important to adapt your retail strategy to the times when growing your business.

“Continue to grow with your customer base. It is imperative that your product offering is always relevant,” she said.

While Gillespie is still involved with the business, she and Roger handed the chief executive reigns to daughter Elise and and son-in-law David Christie last year.

“We formalised meetings every week, with the four of us. Our son leads up the Canada team, and we would have a monthly meeting with him,” she told SmartCompany last year.