Baking up a business

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

Multi-unit franchisee Debbie Blacker has been involved with Bakers Delight for 25 years

After starting out as a Geelong bakery sales assistant at the age of 14, Debbie went on to open several Bakers Delight bakeries across Australia and 25 years later now owns three franchises. 

Debbie started working at Bakers Delight's Corio store and realised then she wanted to own her own business one day. 

She was one of only three young women completing a baking apprenticeship at TAFE and became the first ever female baker at Bakers Delight. Her advice to anyone who thinks only men become franchisees is to "get real". 

"Bakers Delight believes in developing people. There is no distinction between men and women, and that culture has helped foster the successful careers of many female franchisees, including myself," says Debbie.

Debbie and her partner moved to South Australia, NSW and the ACT where they opened several new bakeries and helped to train new franchisees. And as if this was not enough of a challenge in itself, Debbie not only had her first child, she also helped pioneer the first ever Bakers Delight recipe book. 

Debbie never flinched at the idea of acquiring multiple bakeries and credits her success to being organised and highly motivated and to having great staff around her.

Looking back on her career so far, Debbie reveals she would not be at the point she is now without the support, training and programs offered by Bakers Delight.

Her key advice for other baking apprentices and staff is to remember that a career path to owning a bakery is achievable and that if they want to run their own business there are opportunities out there.  

"Bakers Delight has been a major part of my life. I've spent more time doing this than anything else. After all I started when I was 14 and I've just turned 40."