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The Monadnock Restaurant Project

The Local Crowd Monadnock, Culinary Journeys, and Food Connects partnered to launch The Monadnock Restaurant Project, a homegrown stimulus effort.

As of April 1, 2021, this project has invested close to $17,000 to purchase gift cards from participating locally owned restaurants. We strategically disperse these gift cards to community members through partnering businesses.  These businesses share these gift cards with their staff and ask them to spend these cards quickly and above and beyond what the card is worth, providing an immediate shot in the arm to Keene's local economy.  See more details in our FAQ section to the right.

"It could be a really rough few months for our fellow restaurateurs 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."

View Phase 1 & 2 Restaurants

Goal Reached!  $30K in Community Support

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We anticipate that community members will spend twice the amount of their gift cards when redeemed, doubling the impact of this project by infusing $34,000 to these cash-strapped businesses.

According to the Monadnock Indie Impact Study, locally owned retailers return 62.4% of their revenue to the local economy, while national chain retailers return just 13.6% of revenue—meaning that locally owned businesses return over 4x more money to the local economy compared to chain retailers.  Support our locally owned restaurants multiplies our impacts!

Have questions? Please contact Jen Risley at

Frequently Asked Questions

We want to inspire you to go out and purchase gift cards directly from your favorite locally owned restaurants -- and from some new restaurants you haven’t tried yet. You can also enter to win gift cards from the the Keene Sentinel, 93.5 WEEI-Keene , and the Monadnock Shopper News. Help us continue this project by supporting our crowdfunding campaign. Please sign up for updates here, and we’ll keep you updated on future ways to get involved.

So far, our partnering businesses include The American House, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Cheshire Medical Center, Home Healthcare, Hospice & Community Services, Nanotech, and Savings Bank of Walpole.

We chose industries not as negatively financially affected by the pandemic. These businesses will distribute gift cards to their staff quickly – much more quickly than our task force could get them into the hands of individuals. Instead of going to their staff, the Keene Sentinel and the Monadnock Shopper News will help us give out gift cards through giveaways.

We compiled a list of locally owned restaurants in Keene, and then our task force ranked each restaurant using criteria such as Does the restaurant use locally grown produce? Do they give back to the community often? Do they add to the diversity of our food scene?). We chose a variety of restaurants that we felt could help us have the most significant positive impacts. We know we missed some restaurants – for sure! We hope to include more of these restaurants in the future.

There’s a note included with each gift card that sums up the charge: Welcome to the Monadnock Restaurant Project. Please commit to spending this gift card (or certificate) as soon as possible. Spend 2-4 times the value. Tell your friends and share on social media. Be part of the movement.

It’s not a gift but a call to action. The more we spend locally, the more dollars we reinvest in our local economy!

Our restaurants need help now. We would prefer if gift cards were not stashed away in homes for use at a later date. Many of our local restaurants are open for indoor seating or takeout. Takeout is an excellent option for those who don’t feel comfortable eating in a restaurant and still want to support these local restaurants. We want individuals to use their gift cards in February to deliver the immediate help that our community needs.

We hope to stimulate a movement that’s organic and homegrown. 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 $40,000 to these cash-strapped businesses.

If a participating restaurant is doing well, we urge them to pay it forward. That might mean giving out gift cards to those most in need, donating to their favorite nonprofit, or giving their staff a bonus.

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.

The Local Crowd Monadnock - Keene, NH

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