Since opening its doors in March 2004, North American Hose and Fittings has been a top source in the Baton Rouge area for hose assemblies and various fittings used in construction, equipment, oil and gas, chemical, marine, manufacturing and many other trades. In 2021, A.J. Best and Jerry Valentine were presented with the opportunity to purchase the company.

“We recognized this as an opportunity to build upon a foundation that has been established for 17 years locally in the hose and fitting industry,” Best says. “We knew we could grow and expand upon the reputable name, and also bring a new and revitalized energy to the business.”

“We pride ourselves in being able to work directly with our customers both in the office and in the field to determine the exact products they need,” Valentine says. “We also understand that every customer’s needs are different. We want to build a relationship with our customers and provide a more personal experience.”

This is something Jerry and A.J. take seriously, going to such lengths as spending two days with a client. “We went over his entire company — how he works, what he needs and making sure he gets the right products from us,” Valentine says.

That type of dedication to the customer is a key part of the company culture Valentine and Best have fostered. They have 10 employees, all of whom share a desire to provide a high-quality service, Best says.

Another thing that sets North American Hose and Fittings apart is its inventory in and experience with metric hydraulic hose assemblies and adapters. This allows them to provide service to companies using a wider range of equipment that was manufactured overseas with metric components, Valentine explains.

“We’ve been friends since we were freshmen at Denham Springs High School, and we share the same goals and ambitions. As owners, we complement each other very well. We allow ourselves to lean on our strengths individually in business to create a great partnership,” Best says.

Although the two share a background in equipment sales, neither worked for the company before they purchased it.

“We can contribute our knowledge in service and previous industrial experience to the growth of our company,” Best says. “We’re thankful for the continued support from existing customers and look forward to working with many new customers as we continue to grow.”