When you are an entrepreneur one of the greatest stories is that of the OSI Group. The humble beginnings of OSI Group were started in the immigrant experience. Otto Kolschowsky was a German immigrant that in 1909, after arriving in the United States, opened a retail meat market and butcher shop with his sons. The area was on the West Side of Chicago in Oak Park, he served his community. He worked tirelessly in those beginning years and then he decided to go into the wholesale business and in 1928 the company was rebranded as Otto and Sons, decades later it was still a strong and vital part of the community, even after the Second World War.
At the end of the Second World War the family business would make an alliance. Ray Kroc was working on opening the firs McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, IL. he was still just a franchising agent for the founders of Mcdonald’s. The fateful handshake agreement that Kroc made with Otto and Sons to be the franchises first supplier of ground beef would grow OSI Group into the globally recognized corporation it is today.
The next two decades saw Otto and Sons grow and with the invention of flash freezing in the 1960’s became one of four meat suppliers for McDonald’s when they later consolidated the franchise. Otto and Son’s became OSI Industries in 1975, after opening their first fully dedicated plant to McDonald’s hamburgers in 1973. Otto and Son’s were still a stable local market provider but also a Midwest provider to one of the fastest growing corporations.
The company was handled by the Kolschowsky family and the son’s of Otto and Son’s had reached time for retirement. The company were going to need new leadership as they were staring to grow globally, Sheldon Lavin was chosen for the company in 1975. Sheldon played a key role in the capitalization process when he worked as a consultant for OSI Group in 1970.
The next few decades saw the OSI Group grow on a global scale. They have diversified their production efforts including protein products, sausage links, pizza, and yes hamburgers. The companies headquarters are still located in Chicago where it all began but has the reach to many countries abroad as well. The company has won many awards and focuses on the impact environmental of modern foods.
For details: www.creativefoodseurope.eu/osi-group