Scott Graden had a vision: turn a 1960s burger joint on the North Shore into a premier dining destination. With financial backing and a fierce entrepreneurial spirit, the New Scenic Café opened its doors. But it’s Graden’s vision and symbiotic relationship with NBC commercial banker, Marty Olson, that helps his culinary tour de force continue to thrive.
Marty and Scott began their relationship at a different bank. So when Marty moved to NBC, naturally Scott followed. “We’ve spent a lot of our time and energy with each other,” explained Marty. “It’s turned into this really strong relationship that just works.”
The move to a community bank made sense. Scott is well known in the community, teaching entrepreneurial classes at the University of Minnesota Duluth and sponsoring local events throughout the year. “Scott’s always striving to be better—on the chef side, the business side and the philanthropic side.” Marty said.
That local love is something both parties share. “It’s important to support your community and keep your dollars right here. It’s twofold: invest with your dollars, invest with your service. It all makes our community a better place to live,” said Scott.
In the past year, this relationship gave Scott the chance to share his culinary delights beyond the Scenic Cafe. He is in the startup period of producing a set of wholesale items. “We’ll be making goodies such as meringue candies, vinaigrettes, cookies, caramel popcorn and pies, which will be available for purchase at local grocery and kitchen stores,” Scott commented.
Scott’s new ideas keep him in close contact with Marty. But even when there’s nothing new, Scott and Marty still get together. “Sometimes he’ll drop by my office. Sometimes I’ll drive up to New Scenic and we’ll share a bite to eat,” said Marty. “To me, it’s about mutual trust. Scott really values NBC’s input, he’s really receptive of our ideas. There’s a reliance on one another.”
For Scott, it’s not just the trust that makes the banking relationship work. “The accessibility of NBC really stands out. Banking and restaurants live on very different hours, but everyone at NBC works really hard to make themselves available when I need them,” Scott stated.
With NBC and Marty by his side, Scott is bringing new flavors to our region, and pretty soon, your kitchen table.