Born and raised in rural Kansas, Dave Baker – the son of a minister – grew up in a close-knit family with five brothers and sisters. In 1974, he graduated from Jetmore High School with $10 in his pocket and a dream of owning his own business. At 19, Dave bought a milk route and got his start in business. The route flourished, and seven years later, he and his wife, Cheerie, purchased a grocery store in Council Grove. Dave owned and operated the store for 24 years, growing it into one of the largest independent stores in the state.
Married 38 years, Dave and Cheerie have two daughters, Hali and Elizabeth, and a son-in-law, Collin. The Bakers are both active with local charities and are members of the Council Grove-Dunlap Methodist Church.