When gourmands and oenophiles in Tempe and around the Valley are looking for something special, one of the first places they go is Tracy Dempsey Originals/ODV Wines.
The unassuming shop on University near Priest drives is packed with house-made sweets and treats, boutique wines from Arizona and around the globe, and curated products ranging from artisan bread and cheeses to chocolate bars.
Dempsey, who has worked for and supplied desserts to many of the Valley’s top eateries for two decades, started selling her own custom cakes and treats directly to customers in 2009. In 2017, she added the wine component, which she operates with her husband, Chuck.
“We couldn’t think of anyone else with a wine shop and bakery combination and figured it tied our favorite things together in one spot,” Dempsey said. “We knew we wanted to focus on interesting, small-production wines, but we weren’t sure how that would go over. I think it has worked out. We will celebrate our fifth anniversary in July.”
Known widely for her bacon brittle, Dempsey’s other popular items include homemade ding-dongs in chocolate or red velvet, s’mores, granola, brownies, truffle pops, donut muffins and lemon bars. She also carries a wide selection of vermouth.
For Father’s Day, Dempsey suggests customers pick up a bottle of wine made with an unusual varietal as a surprise along with something they know their dad will love. “I’ll be sending my dad his favorite cookies and a few other baked goods that will ship well,” she said.
Each week, Dempsey also offers order-ahead meals-to-go, including a “lunchbox” with a sandwich, sides and sweet as well as an entree for two, which can range from a quiche or galette to a seasoned pork loin with sides or hearty pasta. Orders must be placed by 5 p.m. Monday for a pickup that week between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, which are also walk-in hours for perusing the wine shelves and nabbing grab-and-go options.
Dempsey also offers a wine club and cheese club (with carefully sourced selections from small producers around the country) along with wine tastings and cooking classes. She’s a passionate supporter of other local businesses as well, carrying Noble bread, AZ Honey, DerekSips and ESSO coffee, Desert Provisions salts and seasonings, StoneGrindz and Carolina’s chocolate bars, and more.
The shop is also a pickup location for community-supported agriculture (CSA) boxes from Sun Produce Co-op. Please note, it will be closed June 27-July 13.
Tracy Dempsey Originals/ODV Wines
Hours: 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; special pickup hours available Tuesday-Wednesday with prior notice
Address: 1325 W. University Dr., Tempe