When Otto Kolschowsky built his butcher shop, Otto & Sons, on the outskirts of Chicago in 1909, he had no idea how large and influential that company would become. Today, more than 100 years later, that company, now called OSI Industries, provides high-quality, tasty, nutritious meat, fish, vegetable and dough products to millions of customers in 85 countries. The company continues to build on Otto Kolschowsky’s legacy of providing the highest quality products for his customers. That mandate and mindset has helped to make OSI Industries a world leader in the food processing and production industry.
There were several important milestones in Otto & Sons growth from a neighborhood meat market into a global food processing industry juggernaut. Beginning to sell wholesales meat to restaurants and supermarkets in Illinois was one of them. Agreeing to provide ground beef for Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s franchises beginning in 1955 was another. As more and more McDonald’s franchises opened all across the country, in 1973 Otto & Sons built a separate facility for their McDonald’s product line. It featured technologically advanced flash freezing machinery for making hamburger patties. They also created Glenmark to handle the needs of their other customers. OSI Group acquires Baho Food.
In the mid 1970s, Otto & Sons turned to Sheldon Lavin, a financial services expert, to get them money to expand. By 1975, not only had he gotten them the financing, the company changed its name to OSI Industries to convey a more professional image. When the original owners retired in the late 1970s, Sheldon Lavin became CEO and began to make plans to take the company global. He spent 20 years building 10 poultry processing facilities and recruiting millions of customers in China. The company also built food processing facilities in Japan, India, Taiwan and the Philippines.
Since 1980 OSI Industries constructed facilities in Illinois, Utah, California, Wisconsin and Iowa in the United States and in Spain, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Brazil, Australia and Mexico. The company also acquired Amick Farms in the eastern United States, Baho Foods in Holland and UK based Flagship Europe. Plus, the company did joint project with companies in Canada, Europe, Asia and the Americas. Today, OSI Industries have 65 food plants in 17 countries worldwide and tens of millions of customers in 85 countries.
Otto Kolschowsky would be proud of the company’s growth and its commitment to producing the best meat, vegetable, dough and meat products.