"It could be a really rough few months for our fellow restauranteurs and if we don't do something soon, we could lose some of the businesses on the edge," said Luca Paris, owner of Luca's Mediterranean Café. "We can’t wait for someone else to help us. Eat, drink and build community! Let's do this as a community—quickly and safely."
How has our community rallied around this concern? Learn more about three efforts happening in the Monadnock Region.
The Local Crowd Monadnock, Culinary Journeys, and Food Connects partnered to launch The Monadnock Restaurant Project, a homegrown stimulus effort. So far, we have purchased $10,000 in gift cards from various locally owned restaurants in Keene. We then dispersed these gift cards to community members through partnering businesses C&S Wholesale Grocers, Nanotech, and Savings Bank of Walpole. These businesses shared gift cards with their staff with the charge to spend these cards quickly, providing an immediate shot in the arm to Keene's local restaurant economy this winter.
“It’s not a gift but a call to action,” shared Luca. “We anticipate that community members will spend at least twice the amount of what their gift card is worth, doubling the project’s impact by infusing $20,000 to these cash-strapped businesses. The more we spend locally, the more dollars we reinvest in our local economy!”
Want to get in on the effort? Go out and purchase gift cards directly from your favorite locally owned restaurants -- and from some new restaurants you haven’t tried yet. Then, enter our Snacktime Selfie. Snap a photo of your break, lunch, dinner, or anything in between enjoying what you purchased from a local restaurant. Share it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with #MonadnockRestaurantProject AND #SnacktimeSelfie hashtags. FIVE lucky winners will receive a $100 gift card to the restaurant of their choice. Entries are due before 11:59 p.m. on February 28. Eat local today and you could win big in March!
We want to hold this up as a creative way to respond to the pandemic and re-energize the local economy. We hope other communities in our region will bring the Monadnock Restaurant Project to their town.
To include more restaurants in this project, we’re raising funds to continue our efforts into March. Please support our crowdfunding campaign today.
Support Our Campaign Today!
Paul Tuller of Dublin dreamed up Community Meals to Go, a community-funded program to feed community members and keep our restaurants strong. Participating restaurants prepare to-go meals that are distributed to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity. Karen Hatcher, Peterborough Community and Economic Development Coordinator, helped launch the program by raising funds over $50,000 to pay restaurants $10 per meal.
Volunteers distribute meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. (first come, first served) at South Meadow School in Peterborough. Community partners include the Town of Peterborough, Peterborough Fire and Rescue Association, Cornucopia Project, The River Center, Peterborough Food Pantry and Union Congregational Church.
“If you’ve been impacted and are struggling and need a meal, come get a meal,” Karen said. “This is really for the community and there’s no judgment. It comes from a place of caring.”
For more information and to donate, please visit donorbox.org/peterborough-community-meals-to-go. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may have seen the colorful domes outside of Granite Roots Brewing in Troy. These heated private domes offer contactless ordering and food delivery. Granite Roots is doing their part to help local food businesses by partnering with Black Fire Farm and Machina Kitchen & ArtBar to host dinners in the brewery’s private domes.
“100% of the food profits are kept by [the partnering businesses],” shared Chris LoDolce, Granite Roots Co-owner. “We don't charge them to be on-site and we have them bring their staff to provide additional work for their team. We have booked out all of our reservations and have a significant waiting list.” (Click here to join their waiting list.)
image credit: Granite Roots Brewery
Chris invites additional restaurants with excess capacity in their kitchens to partner with Granite Roots. Specifically, they’re in search of restaurants to serve Central/South American Fare on Thursdays, gourmet meals on Fridays and BBQ on Sundays. Contact Chris or explore more details here.
“Food is at the center of every culture and community throughout history,” said Chris. “We're here to help do all we can to enrich the Monadnock Region's culture and community.”
Let’s all do our part to help support locally owned restaurants and our local economy: Eat, drink and build community!
This March, community economist Michael Shuman will return to our region to offer a Local Investment 101 Workshop Series that will teach, inspire and mobilize us to invest more of our dollars locally.
The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock and Vital Communities will host this online four-session series each Thursday in March from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Registration for all four workshops is $100 (and partial scholarships are available). Learn more!
The series focuses on grassroots investors eager to invest locally, businesses looking for local capital, and policymakers committed to facilitating local investment.
“If we could shift even a small amount of that capital from Wall Street to Main Street, our local economies could flourish,” shared Michael. “This series is designed to help community leaders, personally and collectively, achieve this vision by developing practical local investment strategies.”
We hope you’ll join us!
The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431