Matt Woods Woods Hardware

The Nuts and Bolts of Renovating a Family Business

When Matt Woods joined his family business full time in 2011, he became the fourth-generation leader of an establishment that began in 1933. And while basic locks haven’t changed much in the last hundred years, it goes without saying – business has.

The Woods family realized they had an opportunity to carry more household and hardware items. No one else in Over the Rhine was there serving urban dwellers who don’t want to walk far to shop. The shift in offerings proved a success and when Matt joined the team, he and his parents decided to take the hardware aspect of the business to a new level.


Matt and his family had started the process of acquiring some other local hardware stores, but weren’t sure how to execute the deal.

The company to be bought, Small’s Hardware, had locations in Lockland, Cheviot, Harrison and Cincinnati’s Roselawn neighborhood. Matt was not only spearheading the acquisition, but also the process of rebranding Acme Lock as Woods Hardware to reflect the family’s larger holdings.


Dino helped with many challenges during the acquisition. He recalls that it took several months to run projections, approach banks and get loan financing to make the acquisition possible.


“The thing about Dino is that he’s been through this many times. Expectation levels were adjusted. He was very forthcoming. There were some points when we were about ready to pull the plug and he’d say ‘just take a step back.’” Together, they pushed through and the sale was finalized in the fall of 2016.