Dream Launch Awards - Temptations Gourmet

By: Kirsten Aherron

The River District Association is excited to celebrate the 2022 Dream Launch Pitch Grant Awardees!  These businesses participated in a 6 week Dream Launch Bootcamp that covered topics from financial planning, business planning, access to capital, marketing and more.  Those that attended all 6 classes were able to pitch for funding if they chose to.  

Temptations Gourmet, owned by Carnesha Fuller, was awarded $24,000 from the Dream Launch program and $2,500 from Movement Bank to help establish a brick and mortar business in the River District. 

Temptations Gourmet owner Carnesha Fuller loves traveling, shopping, cooking and extreme couponing.  At the age of 8 years old, her grandmother who raised her taught her the fundamentals of cooking. She has also been making sweet goodies and treats for birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions.  One day in 2020, her pastor asked her to make him a salad.  He thought it was beautifully presented, and tasted amazing, so he took a photo and put it on Facebook.  From then on, people began to call Carnesha asking her to make them salads for lunch and other occasions, and the salad business was born!  

Carnesha grew up in Java, Va and has lived in Danville for the last 24 years.  She has seen the growth in the River District, and sees the amazing potential for even more growth, and wants to contribute to the River District’s coming back to life.  She is excited to begin offering her creations in a brick and mortar location, and creating a legacy for her children!

The awarded Dream Launch funds will be used to remodel the Temptations Gourmet brick and mortar location, as well as purchase essential equipment needed to run her business successfully. Stay tuned for an announcement of where the business will be located!

What made you decide to take part in the Dream Launch Bootcamp and Pitch Competition?

“I was successful doing custom order salads.  I had conversations with Mr. Kelvin Perry at the Office of Economic Development and with Councilman Bryant Hood about having a brick and mortar business in the River District.  They encouraged me to take the Dream Launch Bootcamp and pitch my business.  They said, “You have a gold mine, don’t let it get away.”"

How would you describe your experience in the Dream Launch Bootcamp?

“The Dream Launch Bootcamp was an excellent program.  It was so informative.  The one thing I wish is that there could be some “mini workshop series” outside of the program, to continue the education and relationships formed in the Bootcamp.”

Words of Wisdom for new Entrepreneurs

“Don’t give up!  No dream is too crazy not to pursue.”