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Updated July 1, 2024

A dream come true: Napoleon Café is back

When Napoleon Café in Oneida, NY, closed in March 2023, longtime chef Dan Wimett wasn’t about to walk away from the beloved community gathering spot. In the 10 years he’d worked at Napoleon, he’d gotten to know his customers and their favorite menu items—and was committed to serving his community.

So together with his wife Myranda and son James, a recent culinary school graduate, he decided to buy the historic building and reopen the café, telling his friends and Napoleon’s loyal patrons, “This is our dream and we’re determined to make it come true.”

He just needed to find the right banking partner to secure the financing. Over and over, people suggested Community Bank. “I kept getting messages and phone calls from people saying, ‘Go to Community Bank. They’ll help you.’”

Barbara Olsen, branch manager in training, remembers the excitement of her first meeting with Dan: “My colleague, our Commercial Banking Officer Steve Potter, brought Dan into my office and said, ‘I have great news, Barbara. Napoleon Café is going to reopen!’”

Dan immediately felt supported and confident. “Barbara and Steve were empathetic,” he says. “They knew it was hard on the community when Napoleon closed, so they sped up the loan application process. It felt really quick.”

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“I wanted Dan to feel welcome and know how glad we were he came to us,” Barbara recalls. “I said, ‘Don’t worry, just have a seat and we’ll get this done.’”

“Community Bank is transparent,” Dan adds. “Barbara communicated with us every step of the way. Barbara and Steve simplified the process and pushed it along.”

Within a few months, Dan acquired the building and reopened Napoleon. And Barbara became a regular customer, noting that “Napoleon is one of the few places to get lunch in the area. It’s super exciting for a small town. I’m proud to have helped make it happen. After all, it’s home of the red pepper soup!”

Stories like this make it easy to see how Barbara and Community Bank have become such trusted members of the community. As a business banker, Barbara has her customers’ best interests at heart. She prioritizes communication, is patient, listens closely, and offers thoughtful, expert guidance.

“When Dan wanted to open a checking account for Napoleon’s payroll, I suggested he also open a separate general operating account, which makes it easier to manage the cash flow,” Barbara says. “When he wanted to accept credit and debit cards, I set him up with one of our secure payment processing solutions.”

Dan’s a believer. “This is just the beginning for Napoleon. We’re off to a fantastic start and we’re going to grow our business, expand our hours, and be around for a long time. Because we have Community Bank in our corner—and right across the street and at a table in our café.”

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