OSI Group is a business that is over 100 years old. Today it is a company with 65 facilities in 17 nations which employ 20,000 people. When it started, though, it was a simple corner butcher shop opened as a business by a new immigrant to the United States.
The person that started this company was Otto Kolschowsky. He was from Germany and end up settling in Chicago, Illinois. When he opened his company about 25% of this city’s population was of German descent. Many new immigrants ended up in Chicago, either joining industry there or moving farther west where they built farms. The industries that Chicago was best known for at the turn of the century was butchering hogs, making tools, and stacking wheat for transportation to other places around America.
It was in 1909 that Kolschowsky established his butcher shop in Oak Park, a neighborhood in Chicago’s west side. For a decade he butchered meat and sold it to people in the area. At that point he decided to expand into being a wholesale company and moving his business to one of Chicago’s suburbs Maywood. In 1928 he renamed his company Otto & Sons and was a successful family-owned company for decades after this.
Richard and Maurice McDonald had opened a restaurant in San Bernadino, California. Ray Kroc was one of their franchise agents and he opened the first Mcdonald’s in Des Plaines, Illinois, in 1955. Franchising was a new idea at the time but it proved to be a great way to grow a business. Ray Kroc had a verbal agreement with Otto Kolschowsky’s sons to be the first suppliers of fresh ground beef which altered the history of Otto & Sons.
Ray Kroc took over McDonald’s and Otto & Sons primary business became supplying beef to all of the McDonald’s in their region. Since that time they have become suppliers of many other restaurants on a global basis. They have the ability to supply a consistent product to their clients and thus the people that eat at these restaurants. Since 1975 they have been known as OSI Group which marked this company’s transition from a family-owned butcher to a company that is technologically advanced. Another change in the 1970s was that Otto’s sons were near retirement age. They turned over control of the company to Sheldon Lavin and eventually sold all of their interest in the company to him.
About OSI Group: www.careersinfood.com/osi-group-company-1088.htm