The Common Man family of restaurants in New Hampshire marked its 40th year with a $40,000 birthday gift to the New Hampshire Food Bank and the unveiling of a DO GOOD charity raffle to assist 20 other non-profits in the state.
At a party held at the New Hampshire Food Bank in Manchester last Thursday, Common Man owner Alex Ray, Vice President Diane Downing and CEO Jason Lyon gathered staff, partners and non-profits to announce a month-long celebration of the hospitality family’s 40th year, which includes throwback menus, parties and charitable endeavors.
Lyon kicked off the party with the donation to the New Hampshire Food Bank. “While this was a gift to mark our 40th birthday, we do encourage and even challenge all businesses across New Hampshire to give what they can as well, so that no resident goes hungry,” said Lyon.
Bruce Wilson, Director of Operations for the New Hampshire Food Bank, said the donation solidifies a partnership with the Common Man family that has spanned several years, and thanked the Common Man for helping serve more than 130,000 people. “This will go a long way in filling our shelves so that we can help those in need in our state,” said Wilson.
Governor John Lynch commended Ray and the Common Man family for their contributions to the state and to others. “To me, the Common Man represents all that is good about organizations in New Hampshire,” said Lynch. “It’s obvious they have a real commitment to their communities. Everywhere I go, there’s the Common Man, there’s Alex, giving back to the community.”
Ray reflected on 40 years of doing business in New Hampshire and commented that he often gets calls about locations outside of the state that would be perfect for a new restaurant or hospitality endeavor.
“I love it here, I love New Hampshire. Period,” said Ray. “It’s not just the beauty of our geography, it’s the people, it’s the work ethic, positivity, and it’s just great. I want us to be New Hampshire’s restaurant.”
Ray thanked the more than 800 employees of the Common Man family and credited them for the company’s success. “I am so proud of our Common Man family, we have a very good tenure and that’s what makes it magic.”
Steve Boucher, Communications and Legislative Director for the NH Division of Economic Development, said The Common Man is a world-class company that provides excellent food and is a leader in vision and spirit. “It’s companies like The Common Man that consistently create new opportunities to add to the workforce, to initiate redevelopment and to add to the social fabric that makes this state great.”
Common Man VP Downing announced a charity DO GOOD raffle that partners 21 of New Hampshire’s non-profits with 21 Common Man locations. Raffle tickets will be sold for $1 each with all proceeds benefiting the partner organization, and the lucky raffle winner will receive a Common Man gift card for $197.10, to mark the company’s inception in 1971.
Lyon said the charities in the DO GOOD raffle contest can also earn an additional $400 Common Man gift card through a voting contest on the Common Man’s Facebook page. The non-profit with the highest votes at the end of the month will win. Votes can be cast in the voting app at www.facebook.com/thecommonmannh.
Other festivities and promotions planned for the 40th anniversary include a Happy Birthday Video Contest, where contestants can sing their own version of Happy Birthday, capture it on video and load it to an app on the Common Man’s Facebook page. The videos will go to a public vote and finalist videos will be shown in a Birthday Idol contest at the culmination of the month-long celebration at The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center in Plymouth on December 2. The grand prize for the video contest is a $400 Common Man gift card, said Lyon.
Getting back to its roots, the Common Man restaurant in Ashland, the company’s flagship location, will be serving up a throwback menu at throwback prices from November 7-12. Information about all of the Common Man’s 40th anniversary events and specials can be found at thecman.com or on the company’s Facebook page at facebook.com/thecommonmannh.