Find gourmet gifts, wine and vintage cookware at Tracy Dempsey Originals


Considering this year’s supply chain issues, smart shoppers have started compiling and double-checking their lists long before Halloween. I’ve never been this organized, and as a holiday purist, I can’t fully embrace Christmas until the leftover Thanksgiving turkey and preparations are gone and forgotten.

If, like me, you take your vacation one by one, you’re probably feeling a little rushed to find some great last-minute gifts. Don’t be afraid, I have the place for you.

Tracy Dempsey Originals / ODV Wines is a charming boutique in Tempe that focuses on what Dempsey calls “sweet and savory confectionery” and wines. It offers a bit of everything for gourmets and most of the produce is local.

Shop for chef-approved Christmas gifts

The fondness for sweets, local orientation, and constant interest in wine isn’t surprising if you know Tracy Dempsey, a talented pastry chef who made a name for herself at Cowboy Ciao in her heyday.

Her chocolate creme jars were a revelation, and her odd blueberry bread pudding with bacon, pecans, and maple ice cream was a breakfast-inspired creation that either charmed or indignant clients.

She was one of the first female pastry chefs to be recognized by name in this city. So when you shop in his store, you aren’t buying just any old cake, cookie, or candy. You are buying a Tracy Dempsey Original.

Near the storefront, you’ll find DerekSips coffee sourced from a small, local roasting group selling 12-ounce bags of whole beans from Brazil, Guatemala, Uganda, and Ethiopia.

Tucked away in a vintage cabinet nearby – a selection of local honey harvested from Laveen, Buckeye, Mesa and South Mountain.

On another table, find Wonder Mustard from Steve Doud, a veteran of the local restaurant industry, available in three flavors, as well as sea salt, chili salt and chili powder from Desert Provisions.

There are also the famous Dempsey treats, honeycomb candies, fun marshmallow packs, s’mores kits and hot cocoa bombs, plus handcrafted chocolates from local chocolatiers. All of them make perfect Christmas stockings.

Among the tables and cupboards filled with food are vintage baking tins, tea towels, locally made cherry spatulas, wine gadgets, cocktail books, and kitchen-focused Christmas decorations.

You can also opt for a gift basket, whether you’ve made it yourself or the shop has already prepared, which includes a cocktail starter kit and a curated collection of vermouths to sip on.

Sweets, gifts and wine at Tracy Dempsey Originals in Tempe.

Find the perfect cake, wine or cheese while you’re at it

A refrigerated case at the back of the store holds an ever-changing selection of bar cookies, cake slices, mini pies and pies – good to eat in or take out for dinner. With a little notice, you can also order whole cakes in flavors such as chocolate truffle and raspberry, lemon and pistachio, and pink champagne.

The left side of the case contains artisanal cheeses made in the USA that you won’t find at AJ’s or Whole Foods. Dempsey and her husband Chuck seek them out across the country, mainly offering local cheeses such as Crow’s Dairy during the summer months when shipping is problematic and looking well beyond the Arizona borders when the weather gets colder. .

And, did I mention there’s a small freezer full of homemade ice cream and Dempsey frozen cookies to take out?

Half of the store is dedicated to wine, and the name ODV is the cheeky Dempseys’ nod to “eau de vie”, which means “eau de vie” in French. The two have been obsessed with finding fine wine since they were newlyweds, and they seek out limited-production wines from producers around the world, including natural wines, sparkling wines, dessert-friendly rosés, and exceptional wines. from Arizona. And they try to source their supplies from multigenerational family wineries and female-owned wineries.

Dempsey says she is hesitant to use the term “boutique” because it so often involves expensive. Many of the wines here are rare – which means you won’t find them at BevMo or Total Wine – but affordable, typically ranging from $ 10 to $ 100.

Not your usual gift of the month club

Want to splurge on something geeky but memorable? Consider a wine club gift membership, which costs $ 60 every two months. For that price, you get three bottles for that month – Dempsey describes the selection as “one red, one not red and something else” – with a little treat like red wine chocolate sauce. There’s also a cheese club, priced at $ 50 every two months, which offers three to five cheeses, tasting notes, and sides like chutney, nuts, dried fruit, or a Noble Country Scoop. Then again, you can do it all and join both clubs as the cheese and wine selections are designed to be paired. Brilliant!

The deadline to pre-order many holiday treats, which include gingerbread cookie decorating kits, cheese and salumi platters, and additional cakes and pies, is December 15. If you want Stollen, however, you have until December 17th to order and items are available in store on a first-come basis throughout the month.

Details: 1325 W. University Drive, Tempe. 602-376-9021,,


Comments are closed.