Common Man Restaurants
In 1971, in the middle of a recession, Alex Ray applied for a bank application to open a restaurant in New Hampshire. Some 39 years later, the National Restaurant Association named Mr. Ray, owner of the Common Man Family of Restaurants of Ashland, N.H., the 2010 Cornerstone Humanitarian as part of the association’s Restaurant Neighbor Awards.
Following the award, The Common Man family of restaurants celebrated receiving a national humanitarian award by joining with local business partners in donating more than $45,000 to five Granite State charities.
The first Common Man restaurant opened in Ashland, N.H., in 1971. Over the past 39 years, the family has grown to include 1,000 employees and 17 restaurants.
In fall 2009, the National Restaurant Association named Mr. Ray that year’s Cornerstone Humanitarian as part of the association’s Restaurant Neighbor Awards. “We are pleased to present Alex Ray with the Cornerstone Humanitarian award,” said National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney. “He has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to serving his community, helping friends and neighbors, and giving back to those in need.
Perhaps most admirable is that Alex passes on this sense of community to the employees of his restaurants, encouraging each of them to participate in service projects.