If you are into the food distribution business, the OSI industries certainly rings a bell. Or you may have seen the OSI Group logo in a city or town near you. Certainly, for a company to grow from a Chicago local butchery to opening facilities in Australia and South America, a lot of effort is behind that. This is the story of the food company which was started by Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant back in the 21st century. Otto was among the many German immigrants who had found a new home in Chicago back in the 1900s.
Kolschowsky settled in the city of Chicago and opened up butchery after two years to serve the people of Chicago, whom a quarter of them were of German descent. Kolschowsky was an intelligent businessman and success kept him company. He was a brilliant an ambitious man who laid the foundation of what was to be a multinational company with more than twenty thousand employees and present in more than seventeen nations of the world.
At the time World War 1 was coming to an end, Kolschowsky had managed to grow business from a meat vendor and single butchery to wholesale and supply and relocated to Maywood, a more spacious Chicago suburb.
Otto & Sons
A decade later, in 1928 Kolschowsky sons, Harry and Arthur would take over the family business and rebrand it to Otto & Sons. The duo did not disappoint their father and would for the next decades guide business to achieve major success and land top client, McDonald’s. Harry and Arthur developed a strong relationship with the CEO of McDonald’s corporation, Ray Kroc, and Otto & Sons would be given the tender to supply beef to the franchise. McDonald’s signature product was the hamburgers and it was upon Otto & Sons to match the supply for the beef required for the hamburgers. Otto & Sons would maintain the business relationship with McDonald’s and as the franchise grew, so did the company because they were retained as among the main suppliers of beef.
The voluminous growth of McDonald’s all over the United States compelled Otto & Sons to realign their business. The two sons of Otto came up with two divisions for their business. One was primarily a supplier to McDonald while the other which they called Glenmark brand would service the domestic retail market and local restaurants. This brought about the rebranding of Otto & Sons to OSI Industries in the year 1975. Additionally, the exponential growth of the company required more managers and leadership plus the two sons of Otto were nearing retirement.
This led to the summoning of Sheldon Lavin who joined the OSI Industries as a partner in 1975.
OSI industries would experience global growth and make some strategic acquisitions in Australia and Europe. Sheldon Lavin efforts saw the company; open up facilities in Mexico, Hungary, Poland, Brazil and many more countries.
More about OSI Industries
The company acquired Baho Food which is a Dutch company that manufactures meat products and supplies to Extensive Europe, including Germany and Netherlands. OSI also purchased Flagship Europe and renamed it to Creative Foods Europe. Today OSI is a global leader in the food industry and is ranked #58 by Forbes with sales of, $6.1 billion in 2016.
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