We had the good fortune of connecting with Denise McCreery and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Denise, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
The most important decision I made that contributed to my success was investing in my self-confidence. At an early age, when I wasn’t sure ‘what’ I was going to do with my life, the one thing I saw as a common thread with successful people was their comfort with themselves and their ease in almost any public setting. So I forced myself to get uncomfortable, to join a play and step on stage, to join Toastmasters and learn how to present, to travel alone…whatever I needed to do to become comfortable. I figured if I could control my comfort and confidence, I could handle anything else that came my way.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started d’Vine Gourmet in 2003 by turning wine into jelly….literally! At the time I had a small software biz but was looking for something more creative, I loved to cook and loved wine, so it was a natural progression. After selling out at a few farmer’s markets, we built a commercial kitchen and our line expanded from there into other gourmet foods, condiments and candies. At the time my kids were young and my husband was employed elsewhere so it was just me and yes, it was challenging! My biggest issue was work/home balance, but I purposefully kept the business manageable so I could spend time with the kids with a planned ‘ramp up’ once they graduated. I’ve learned so many things along the way, but the most pivotal for me was about making sure to keep my ego out of it and to remain a good steward for our brand. That can be hard to do when you put your whole heart and soul into your biz, your idea; but when you base all your decisions on what is best for the entity, what then works for ‘you’ simply falls into place.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well I’m quite the localvore so this one is easy! I’d start in Chandler at one of our award winning golf courses, hit up Pho Chandler for light lunch, maybe a hike through the Desert Botanical Gardens or the grounds of the Biltmore, then back for dinner downtown and live music…there is always something fun happening here!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family, both my parents while growing up and my hubby now; both of whom have not only ‘let’ me be me, but have promoted it from the very beginning. My parents were entreprenuers and amazing communicators, they taught me so much about how to navigate life and business from any angle, they encouraged falling down so I could learn to get up again and stay focused on the mission. My husband continues that theme every day and helps carry in through in our own family.

Website: www.dvinegourmet.com

Instagram: dvinegourmetaz

Facebook: @dvinegourmet

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