DERRY — They are the top citizen, business and nonprofit of the year.

Downtown entrepreneur Melanie Davis was named the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year for 2019. The Tupelo Music Hall took top business honors.

Also, new for 2019, the chamber honored a Nonoprofit of the Year — Community Caregivers of Greater Derry.

Davis's business, the Grind Rail Trail Cafe, first opened in 2014 on Manning Street in Derry. A year later the cafe moved to its current 5 West Broadway location.

A second location opened in Windham last year.

The business touts hometown flavors, community spirit and invites all who enjoy the nearby rail trails to park their bicycles and stop by.

Davis often contributes to the region through much behind-the-scenes work and supports numerous causes throughout the year, according to the chamber.

Davis is worthy of the honor, said chamber President Ashley Haseltine.

"The Citizen of the Year award, among the highest honors bestowed in our region, recognizes an individual in the Greater Derry Londonderry area who has contributed to the betterment of the community through volunteer service and civic leadership," she said.

Scott Hayward has owned the Tupelo since 2004, offering concert-goers opportunities to see some of the music industry's best.

Starting as a small music space in Londonderry, Hayward moved his venue to Derry in 2017, keeping the original plan of blending community hospitality with a lineup of great names in the music business.

Through the years, the Tupelo Music Hall has been honored with many awards as a top music venue in the state.

Some Tupelo shows invite the big guns when it comes to sights and sounds. Other performances are more mellow and acoustic, a calmer, gentler style of performance.

It also celebrates solar power success as the music venue on A Street unveiled a 313-panel rooftop solar display array last year.

Hayward said it's always been a goal to make the music hall as energy-efficient as possible.

That includes recycling as much material as possible, using biodegradable products and using energy-saving LED lights.

Hayward, a Derry native, said being a top business in this community involves collaboration among many great businesses that support each other.

"It's also nice to be recognized in the area where you grew up," he said, then added a shout-out to his employees.

Davis, the Tupelo and Community Caregivers will be honored Oct. 3 during the chamber's annual dinner/awards night at Birch Wood Vineyard in Derry.

The chamber has been honoring top citizens since 1965. The first recipient was Grant Benson Jr.

For information about the chamber annual dinner, visit

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you