Roots in Glenferrie
Glenferrie Hawthorn is a great place to live, and, it would seem, a great place to start a business. Several well-known and widely-loved businesses across Australia have started right here in the heart of Hawthorn, and many of us do not even realise.
An Australian icon was born in May 1980 when Roger and Lesley Gippespie opened the first ever Bakers Delight store right here on Glenferrie Road. The initial shop was located closer to the railway station but a few years after opening, moved to where it is now at 748 Glenferrie Road.
Now, 38 years on, the Gillespie family have grown their business to more than 700 bakeries across Australia and expanded to New Zealand, Canada and USA. Bakers Delight is still well and truly a family business, with Roger and Lesley at the helm and their children managing different aspects of the stores around the globe.
Hawthorn is where the family decided to establish their business and then their home in the early 80s with Roger and Lesley's children growing up and attending school in the community.
When asked why they started up in Glenferrie, the family notes that Glenferrie had "the requirements for a successful retail experience: easy parking, good mix of retailers as well as good public transport."
The Glenferrie store is still as popular as ever and a pack on the wall acknowledges the importance of the store. Safe to say, the Glenferrie community has played its own little role in sharing with Australia the cheesy mite scroll, a Bakers Delight invention.
Glenferrie Road is also the home to another popular Australian food outlet - Grill'd. Grill'd started out of Hawthorn in 2004 when entrepreneur Simon Crowe decided he wanted to start up a restaurant with healthier burgers than your average fast food venue. He branded his burgers as fresh, not fancy and gave it a go.
Simon saw Glenferrie as an emerging food precinct and a perfect fit for the new brand of food he was offering. Now 14 years since they first opened, Grill'd has more than 100 stores in Australia, and has established itself as the preferred option for casual but reliable meals.
After a damaging fire in 2016 left Hawthorn's Grill'd closed for several months, it re-opened with a revamp. Still situated at the corner of Glenferrie Road and Liddiard Street, Grill'd continues to feed hungry families, students and office workers every day.
Not just a popular place for food, Glenferrie is also home to sportswear brand 2XU which had its first office and shop at 713 Glenferrie Road. The inagural store is still located there, however their office is now located not far away at 243 Burwood Road, Hawthorn.
When picking the location of the first 2XU shop, the demographic of Glenferrie Hawthorn was the right fit; active people who are willing to invest in quality products.
Grill'd 2004 (top image). Grill'd present/2018 (bottom image)
Launched in 2005 by former professional triathlete Jamie Hunt along with two business partners Aidan Clarke, a marketing specialist, and Clyde Davenport, founder and past owner of Davenport Industries, 2XU started out specialising in running and triathlon apparel. However, 13 years later 2XU now has a range of sportswear for all physical activities, 26 performance centres and outlets in Australia and stores in New Zealand, USA, Canada, Mexico, Nordic countries and throughout Asia.
From their humble beginnings in Glenferrie, Bakers Delight, Grill'd and 2XU have spring-boarded to nationally, and in some cases international, successful companies. It seems that savvy Glenferrie locals are a good test for the success of retail businesses.
2XU 2009. Image source: Google Maps