H.J. Hodes and Company was founded in 1943 by Herman J. Hodes, in partnership with his three brothers, Henry, George, and John. The four Hodes owned and operated Prier Brass Manufacturing Company in Kansas City. The government had taken 90% of its production for World War II efforts, with the remaining 10% available for domestic use. However, the brass product line was totally suspended with no private allocation for zinc, lead, or copper. The new company was to gather plumbing products from other foundries (not serving government needs) to serve a plumbing industry displaced due to manpower losses.
The principle products of Hodes
Company were initially brass valves and specialties, tubular products,
lead drum traps, copper tube and fittings, and accessories.
These items were distributed through
sales representatives in the states of Kansas and Missouri. They
soon expanded and covered the Midwest as the products found a
As the company became better known
to its customers in a five state area, additional items were requested.
Eventually Hodes Co. became a full line wholesaler carrying water
heaters, closet combinations, lead bins, tools, chemicals, and
malleable fittings in addition to their manufactured products.
As a result of the growth, warehouses were opened in Denver, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Indianapolis, and South Kansas City. However, in 1955 it was decided that the enormous complexity of items offered was hindering the company's ability to give service on a national scale, which in turn limited the market for Hodes manufactured products.
Heavy, bulk items caused difficulty
in pricing due to freight charges, handling, etc., so several
were discontinued. The variety of items was reduced, and once
again efforts were made to spread national coverage. With the
advent of faster, more advanced package delivery, warehouses in
New Orleans, Albuquerque, Denver, and Indianapolis were closed
to centralize operations and eliminate double handling and duplicate
Based on these ideas, Leader Specialty
Company of Indianapolis was purchased. Leader was a long time
favorite of plumbing contractors located in the East and throughout
The next purchase was Ross Manufacturing
of Kansas City in 1979. Ross was well-known throughout the plumbing
industry for its quality line of rubber goods and chemicals. Most
notable of its chemicals is Rossite, a truly effective caustic
granulated drain cleaner.
With these acquisitions, Hodes Co.
added sales representatives and increased its customer base, along
with expanding the product line.
The second generation improved product
quality by setting standards in manufacturing, extending the plumbing
accessories categories, and protecting the product in service
trucks with improved packaging and labeling.
Today, the firm is in the hands of Herman
Joseph Hodes II. "Joe" is the third generation of family
and fiftieth grandchild of the original founder, and continues
to pledge quality product and service to our partners
throughout the United States. Sophisticated computer communications
keep us in touch with inventory needs of our customers, sales
agents, and suppliers. A recent overhaul of our shipping and storage
designs allow us to maintain same day shipping response, while
dramatically improving accuracy.
Now the management teams constant
focus is enhancing marketing, packaging, distribution,
research, and education to be the finest supplier of repair parts
and specialty items to Americas quality minded plumbing
contractors and service shops.
In a Nutshell
Assembles, packages, and
distributes plumbing products, including brass goods, fittings,
chemicals, and tools directly to plumbing service shops and distributors nationwide.
Is to be Americas best plumbing
repair product distributor to plumbing contractors as measured by
our associates, customers, and vendors.
It is the constant goal of the company
to provide professional quality products to distributors and professional
contractors. We work to sustain
sufficient profit to provide consistent service and always
exceed the expectations of our customers.
Is the local service contractor and distributor serving
the residential, commercial, and industrial fields. These technicians, and the distributors who serve them, are vital to the health and
well-being of their community, are respected as trained professionals
in an ever-more complex world of healthcare, sanitation and water quality.
Goods including faucets, drain products, and water supply connectors.
and Accessories for brand name fixtures, faucets, and flush valves
found in the bathroom, kitchen, laundry and utility area. These
include faucet parts, toilet repairs, shower accessories, and
and Fittings used in the process of bringing fresh water to each
fixture and draining the waste.