Common Man Celebrates 40th Birthday with $40K Gift to NH Food Bank

Release Date: Nov 03,2011

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch joins Common Man CEO Jason Lyon, Vice President Diane Downing and Common Man Owner Alex Ray in presenting a $40,000 birthday gift to Colleen Cowette, Director of Development for the New Hampshire Food Bank. ,
MANCHESTER, NH – 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, 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.

CEO Jason 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.

New Hampshire 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 Vice President Diane 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. 

The charities and locations where supporters can purchase raffle tickets to assist them are:

Common Man Lincoln     Adaptive Ski Program at Loon

Common Man Ashland     Ashland Food Pantry & Community Center

Common Man Express Deli in Ashland    CADY, Inc. (Communities for Alcohol & Drug Free Youth)

Company Store Ashland     Circle Program

Italian Farmhouse       Pemi Baker Literacy Foundation

Flying Monkey Performance Center     Educational Theatre Collaborative (ETC)

Foster’s Boiler Room    First Star Tonight

Common Man Inn Plymouth   The Bridge House

Spa at the Common Man Inn in Plymouth   Cinderella Project of New Hampshire

Route 104 Diner in New Hampton  New Hampshire Humane Society

Lakehouse Grille in Meredith    New Hampshire Food Bank

LAGO   in Meredith   WLNH Children’s Auction

CAMP in Meredith   American Red Cross New Hampshire

Tilt’n Diner    Mix 94.1 Cash and Cans

Common Man Concord   CASA of NH

Common Man Claremont    Claremont Soup Kitchen

Common Man Inn in Claremont   Toys for Tots

Airport Diner in Manchester    Union Leader Santa Fund (Salvation Army)

Common Man Merrimack   Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter

Common Man Windham    Child and Family Services of NH

Common Man Portsmouth   Seacoast Family Food Pantry

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 .

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. Classic guest favorites like Chicken Kiev, The Chopper and Shrimp Scampi will be served at prices ranging from $6.99 - $8.99. All Common Man-named restaurants will offer a three course meal from a select menu for $19.71 from November 13 – 19, and its lakes region restaurants Lago and Camp in Meredith and Plymouth restaurants Italian Farmhouse and Foster’s Boiler Room will serve a three course meal from a select menu for $19.71 from November 20 – 23. A special dinner for two menu for $40 will be offered at Lakehouse Grille in Meredith from November 27 – 30. 

Guests can enjoy a family-friendly birthday party at all three of the Common Man’s diners – Airport Diner in Manchester, Route 104 Diner in New Hampton and Tilt’n Diner in Tilton on November 18. Kids eat free that night with the purchase of any adult entrée. Other specials include two pounds of homemade fudge at the Company Store in Ashland for $19.71, 40% off a second night’s stay at The Common Man Inns in Plymouth and Claremont, select treatments at The Spa at the Inn in Plymouth for $40, and 40% off a second sandwich purchased at Common Man Express Deli in Ashland.

The Common Man will offer a one-day gift card sale on November 10 – buy a $40 gift card and get a $10 gift card for free, and the Company Store has a limited edition 40th anniversary mug for sale. Information about all of the Common Man’s 40th anniversary events and specials can be found at or on the company’s Facebook page at

Kids Eat Free Diners

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