When Otto Kolschowsky took advantage of the booming Chicago population and industrial environment to open a butcher shop, he perhaps didn’t know the shop would grow into a multinational food distributor. From its foundation in 1914 to date, the enterprise has undergone significant transformations to become the present day OSI Group. And even as the group celebrates over a century of industrial presence, much has steered the firm into its current status.
As the 20th century kicked off, Chicago was welcoming many immigrants, mostly from German. One of these immigrants was Kolschowsky. Chicago city was also a hub of American industries. Sensing the possibility of building a thriving enterprise, Kolschowsky opened up the butcher shop. His business serviced the growing community of immigrants and started flourishing after its foundation. The next decades saw Kolschowsky involve his sons in the family enterprise, leading to the name Otto & Sons. Even after the elapse of the World War II, the business remained a vital part of the American community.
The turning point of the now OSI Group happened during the mid-century when Kroc founded McDonald’s first restaurant. Since the restaurant, as well as Otto and Sons, were based in Illinois, the latter became the primary supplier of fresh meat for the McDonald’s restaurants. By then, Kolschowsky’s sons (Harry and Arthur) took full control of the family business. As McDonald’s continued its expansion missions, Otto’s company remained the first-hand supplier for the outlets. With time, the two company became symbolic partners, helping each other to become reputable brands in the world.
Since the 1950’s, the family business ceased from being a regional supplier and became a global outfit. Thus, there was a need to create an appealing brand that would simplify the transition. OSI Group became the suitable substitute for the original name, and the organization continued strategic business growth globally.
One of the critical aspects that the Kolschowskys chose in their global growth mission was creating a competent leadership team. This saw Sheldon Lavin joining the organization as a partner in 1975. The strategy reaped fruits as the firm welcomed a new facility outside of Chicago. The next decade saw new facilities in other areas such as Utah West Jordan, and across North America.
Currently, OSI Group has expanded globally through acquisitions and mergers. The company has also ramped up its production capabilities to meet the growing customer base. At the same time, the firm has diversified its services by providing other on-demand products like chicken products, and it is a recipient of various awards due to its international appeal and dedication to quality service.