OSI Group is Driven by Tradition and Technology as a Top Food Processor
OSI Group is an international food processor that has achieved a high level of growth in their expansive mode that has characterized operations for decades. Their history also contains periods of technological advancements and innovation as well. They first opened their doors for business more than a century ago and their story is uniquely American during a time of new ideas for commerce.
Otto Kolschowsky was the founder of OSI Group and he was a German immigrant looking to build a new life in America. He settled in Chicago and opened up a butcher shop and meat market in 1909. He was successful as he served the residents in the local neighborhoods near his shop. When his sons joined the business, they became Otto & Sons and this followed an expansion into wholesale meats. For several decades they thrived as a local community business.
The year 1955 saw Otto & Sons strike a handshake agreement with none other than Ray Kroc. Representing the McDonald family he was in need of a meat supplier for what would be the first franchise location in Des Plaines, Illinois. This touched off a partnership that flourished in the years to come and still does today.
At the time of this agreement, both companies were very much family owned businesses. Ray Kroc eventually acquired McDonald’s and took the company to extraordinary heights with the franchise concept. Otto & Sons grew exponentially as well and both of their stories are a unique chapter in an America that thrived after World War II.
Technological advances have also characterized the growth of Otto & Sons which was renamed OSI Group in 1975. They were early adopters of flash freezing which enabled them to ship burgers to distant franchise locations. As the two companies continued to maintain impressive rates of growth, a new plant was needed to meet production quotas. In 1973 this new plant opened and worked exclusively as a supplier for McDonald’s.
Another important part of the story involves a key executive named Sheldon Lavin. He became a partner with OSI Group and his vision for international expansion helped drive the company to new markets around the world. They developed strategic relationships with top food brands in Europe and Asia among many other places.
The deep resources that OSI employs in their operations are in both food production and culinary creation. They opened two Culinary Creation centers to develop tasty new dishes in a wide array of markets.
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