Following a change in ownership, Temptations Gourmet Cafe at Hanover Center, formerly Temptations Everyday Gourmet, closed briefly last week for some updates and renovations.
Owners Janet and Bert Lamport purchased the business from James Snyder last October, and until now have made very few changes.
The Lamports said it was important to them to maintain the reputation that the cafe has earned over the past 34 years.
Now, they have given the store and restaurant at 3501 Oleander Drive a fresh new look with new flooring and bright turquoise paint and white bead board throughout the dining room. Customers will notice a new seating plan that allows a better flow throughout the space, including the retail section which will continue to offer a wide variety of wines and gourmet foods.
The Lamports are from Pittsburgh, but have been vacationing in the area since the early 1970s. They now plan to split their time between the two locations, as they still operate a business in Pennsylvania. Their goal was to find an established business in the Wilmington area to take over, and after careful consideration, decided on Temptations.
“We were drawn to Temptations because it has a long history in the area, and a very steady, loyal clientele,” Janet Lamport said.
Chef and general manager Virginia Thompson has overseen the transition, and the Lamports said they are thrilled that she agreed to stay on and work for them.
“The staff here, much like the customers, are very loyal, they treat the business as their own, and they are invested in it,” Bert Lamport said. “It’s so important to us to know that it’s in good hands at all times.”
The Lamports say the menu will remain the same, with Thompson continuing to offer daily soup, salad, panini, quiche and dessert specials.
Event catering is available, with a variety of party trays featuring sandwiches, salads and desserts, as well as a la carte offerings of items such as pimento cheese and potato, pasta, and chicken salad by the pound.
On the retail side, Temptations carries a variety of sweet and savory items. Many, such as Heidi’s Mints, Goodness Gracie, Carolina Candy Company and 8th Wonder Spice mix, are made in the Port City. They also carry Salem Baking Co. products from Winston-Salem and Bruce Julian products of Charlotte.
The cafe’s website has recently been updated and will soon allow for online ordering of gift baskets and eventually take-out orders as well. Custom gift baskets are available, and baskets can be created for any price point or occasion.
The Lamports say they are looking to expand the wine selection to include more reasonably priced boutique wines, and to host regular wine tastings.
“Temptations is such a welcoming environment and we are here to carry that through,” Janet Lamport said.
Temptations Gourmet Cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
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