James “Woody” Wood of Woodie’s Goodies
Woody owns “Woodie’s Goodies” by the Hingham Commuter Boat and rumor has it he may make the best darn cup of coffee and breakfast sandwich this town has to offer. More importantly, he adores his customers and the feeling is certainly mutual. As you’ll see Woody has a heart of gold and while he feels lucky to have met the people of Hingham, I think you’ll agree with us that we are the lucky ones.
Hingham, meet Woody.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My family is everything to me. My dad taught me the etiquette of customer loyalty and merchandising. He always told me you have one chance to make a lasting impression on a first time customer. My dad is an extremely hard-working man who’s always provided for his family and still does to this day at age 75. He’s the man I learned everything from. My wife is my savior she came into my life late at age 36 and we were married by age 41. My mom passed away of Alzheimer’s and that was an experience for both of us. We took care of my mom for six years, 24/7 until she passed away two years ago. This brought my wife and I closer and that’s when I learned that my wife is a saint because not many people would’ve done the things she has done for my mom and for me. I have a daughter Giavanna, who is a bright beautiful young lady and we have a recent addition to my family Bella she is 17 months old and she is one of a kind. I love my daughters more than anything in this world and I want to instill on them everything that was instilled on me as far as work ethic and in general, just being good to people. My in-laws are also saviors and have helped us raise our children the way they’re supposed to be brought up and they are always there whenever we need them. Again, my family is everything.
What is your passion?
My passions have always pretty much been in the kitchen. Originally, I thought I would pursue something in the communication field, stand-up comedy or something in front of the camera and those things never panned out. However, I like to practice some of my material with my customers and we have our laughs every single day. People will tell you I love to talk, maybe even a little too much at times?! Every customer that I have, we have different subjects that we discuss each day and we have so many laughs along the way. I love them all.
What kind of impact do you hope to have on your customers?
My customers all have very stressful jobs and I know this. You would never know it as they greet you but I’m sure the minute they step into their office things are different. If I can put a smile on each one of their faces by just a simple joke while making them a fresh cup of coffee or breakfast, it can make my day that much better. I have personal relationships with a lot of my customers where I will meet them for drinks or just text back-and-forth during the day with simple jokes or just everyday chatter just saying hello, they always include me. I’ve also had on many occasions been able to play at the Black Rock Country Club and get a taste of the "good life" because my customers are willing to share that with me. They treat everybody as if they were equals and have no problem inviting me to play and including me in their golf game.
What do you love most about Hingham?
What I love most about Hingham is the people in general. They walk around and love life and enjoy life. Everybody knows each other and everybody respects each other. I was told by friends of mine in other towns when I first started working at the commuter boat - “those people are going to eat you alive.” I was scared on my first days until I realized that I've never met people like this before, Hingham people actually care about people. Since day one, they have been loyal customers and always had my back. I love each and everyone of my customers as if they were my family.
Favorite local spot?
My favorite local spot is Crow’s Landing because my wife works there! I spoke to one of my customers Ryan Thornton about getting my wife a waitress job. He immediately got her a job and she kept moving up in the ranks because of her hard work and now she is the general manager. It’s a great spot!
If my wife and I have a date night out together, we love to go to the North End and love eating at Prezza, the place is incredible!
Favorite house in Hingham?
My favorite house in Hingham is on Weston Road. The reason why this is my favorite house in Hingham, Is because Jake and Laura Heller Iive there. The reason why? These two are very special to me. They’re not the type to tell you this story, so I will. My mom passed away a couple years ago and I let most of my customers know that I wouldn’t be there on a Friday. Jake and Laura took it upon themselves to come in that Friday morning and give coffee away to all my customers. That Monday I came back to work and learned that they raised $800 in cash that morning so that I didn’t have to miss a few day’s pay. It still gives me the chills and I love them. Last winter, another one of my customers started up a go fund me page when the Docks were brocken and the boat was not running. My loyal customers raised over $10,000 for me for a month of missed sales. How’s that for customers?! It means the world to me, you have no idea.
If you had a different career, what would it be?
If I had a different career it would probably be stand-up comedy. Although my wife doesn’t think I’m funny many others do. LOL!
What is one thing on your bucket list?
I’m pretty simple, I don’t need extravagant things. The one thing on my bucket list was to finally get a house for my family and as I’m doing this interview with you, we are spending our first night in it! I need a home for my kids which I’m proud we finally got!
Do you have a hidden talent?
My hidden talent which many don’t know about is I recently self-taught myself the piano which I’m able to play about 8 to 10 decent songs. I like to just get on the piano for 20 minutes a day, it’s a comfort for me and helps clear my mind. Another hidden talent is that before I started working like crazy, I was actually a pretty decent golfer with about 13 handicap! The depressing thing is that I’ve gone out to play with some of my customers and have not been able to show them the old woody that really used to know how to play!
What is your beverage of choice/go-to cocktail?
A lot of my friends give me a hard time because they like to drink Bud Light but I like Whales Tale Pale Ale (or Miller Light)!
What's one thing people may not know about you?
You would probably never know it but up unilt about eight years ago, I always had a very low self-esteem. When I started working at the commuter boats and met my wife, it was them who boosted me up every single day and did things for me that nobody’s ever done before. Because of my wife, my family and my loyal customers over the last 10 years my self-esteem is now at an all-time high. One day I woke up, looked in the mirror and and said you know something, be proud of yourself you’re not so bad. I owe that to my family and the best customers in the world. These people in Hingham really care. Thank you!