Some of the biggest revelations of the past couple of centuries came through the innovation and ideas of immigrants that came to the United States from other countries. This is certainly the case in regards to the OSI Group, home to Chicago, where it was first started back in 1909 by a German immigrant by the name of Otto. He grew this company into a major contender in the food market, especially starting in 1928 when his sons joined the family business. At this time, the company was known as Otto & Sons and was ahead of the competition in the whole Chicago area. The entire town experienced new growth in the business that was brought in by Otto & Sons, where much of the cities population was made up of immigrants from Germany.
After the business became a major contender in the food service market, Otto wanted to provide the entire nation with safe and fresh meat and it was the main goal for a long time. Although he never expected the company to experience such great success, there is no doubt Otto & Sons has been a leading competitor in the food services market for meats for more than five decades. Starting in the 1970’s, the company continued to expand into new territory, opening new offices outside of the Chicago area and continued expanding to new locations heavily through the 1980’s.
Today, OSI Group is a provider of many different foods, including beef patties, tofu, bread, sausage, poultry, soup, steak, cheese, and much more. OSI Group is enormous by company standards today and they are easily one of the largest food processor and supplier companies in the entire world. With billions of dollars in revenue generated each year, OSI Group has been ranked as one of the largest companies in the United States according to a ranking by Forbes. This multi-billion dollar corporation is ahead of the game and will continue to expand into new territory for many years moving forward.
The story of how OSI Industries became one of the world’s most successful food businesses is quite an interesting one and it’s a story that started over one hundred years ago. Like many others who immigrated from Germany around the turn of the Twentieth Century, Otto Kolschowsky came to America looking for a new start in a land of opportunity. Otto put his ambition to work by starting a family-run butcher shop in the Chicago, Illinois area. By working diligently, Otto and his family were able to build up a successful enough operation that the decision was made to expand into the wholesale meat distribution business. This happened in the wake of World War One. In 1928 the company was rebranded under the moniker of Otto & Sons.
The next big chapter for OSI came in 1955. By now the firm was being run by Otto’s sons Arthur and Harry Kolschowsky and they brothers were able to forge one of the most important business relationships in the history of OSI Industries. Landing the contract to supply McDonald’s restaurants with beef patties was a landmark achievement in the company’s history and it was a business relationship that pushed Otto & Sons to really step up its game. The relationship between Otto & Sons and McDonald’s became a constant fixture as the company was one of the restaurant chains primary distributors.
When the 1970s came around the Kolschowsky brothers were looking to further expand the business and they enlisted the help of local Chicago area financial consultant Sheldon Lavin. Sheldon was so instrumental in helping Ott & Sons to expand business operations that he was asked to join the firm, becoming a member of the partnership. From early on as a partner, Sheldon wanted to push for expansion and start making moves towards making the company global. The name was changed to OSI Industries and expansion outside of North America began. Sheldon Lavin is still with OSI today as its CEO and he continues to guide the firm in global expansion.
The recent merger between OSI Industries in Australia and Australian poultry distribution firm Turi Foods is an example of how OSI Industries continues to expand its operations. Turi Foods and OSI have very similar company cultures which makes them an ideal pairing. Executives from both companies have expressed how happy they are with accomplishing this critical merger.
For details: www.kununu.com/us/osi-industries