OSI Group Builds Upon an Immigrant’s Success Story in Food Processing

OSI Group is an outstanding food processor that has shown steady growth on a global basis for decades. They have prospered as they developed key partnerships with top food brands like McDonald’s. Their approach has been a sustainable one as well which is a model for other companies to emulate. They have a fascinating history that dates back over 100 years and it is a tradition of excellence and service. OSI acquires UK’s Flagship Europe.

The original founder of OSI Group was Otto Kolschowsky who opened a butcher shop and meat market in 1909. He was a German immigrant eager to find a place in America and Chicago was where he settled. He enjoyed serving a thriving German community up through and after World War One among other local residents. He later expanded his business into wholesale meats and when his sons joined him they became Otto & Sons. They were a valued and trusted part of the local community for decades.

The McDonald’s Corporation is rich in American business history and Otto & Sons became an important part of their story as well. Ray Kroc chose them to be the meat supplier to the first franchise location in Des Plaines, Illinois. This was accomplished with a handshake agreement and both companies have never looked back. They grew in tandem as the franchise model was a great success story.

By 1973 McDonald’s sought to consolidate their operations and because of their long relationship with Otto & Sons, they were selected as one of four companies to supply burgers. As a result, they constructed an entirely new plant that was dedicated to their top customer.

Financing for expansion was secured with the help of Sheldon Lavin a talented businessman with banking and investing experience. He was invited to become a partner in 1975 and eventually acquired the company when the original family retired. They were also rebranded as OSI Group which reflected their growing global business. It also honored their original founder and its former name of many years.

The impetus for global expansion was in the person of Sheldon Lavin who helped OSI Group develop an international plan. They were strategic as they opened new locations in Europe, Asia, and other places. Today they operate more than 60 facilities in 17 countries. They also number approximately 20,000 employees and display a remarkable depth of abilities. They have a great capacity for food production as well as significant resources for culinary creation.

 

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