OSI Group’s history is deeply rooted and attached to the immigrant experience. Otto Kolschowsky was a German immigrant, who decided to establish in Oak Park, a small meat market, two years after reaching United States. He viewed this as a means of serving his community. Within decades, the business had expanded its operations to Maywood, making it rebrand to Otto & Sons in 1928. The company came to be McDonald’s supplier after Arthur and Harry Kolschowsky, bumped into Ray Kroc. He was a franchise agent for a San Bernardino couple, who opened the first McDonald’s restaurant in 1955, in Des Plaines, Illinois.
After Kroy purchased the McDonald’s later on, the Otto & Sons symbiotically joined in to supply the ever growing number of regional McDonald’s restaurants. Transformation of the Otto & Sons to the OSI Group evolved within the next two decades. In 1973, Otto & Sons established its first plant, with machinery for flashing freezing hamburger patties. This was in a bid to produce an affordable, sustainable and consumer related product. The outcome saw them become a two track company; one a rapidly growing Midwest supplier and second, a stable local supplier. This triggered its change to OSI Industries in 1975.Its drastic growth over the years was a result of making Lavin the chairman and CEO in the late 1980’s.
Sheldon Lavin, an experienced investor and executive in the banking sector, saw the OSI Group ranked #58 on the 2016 Forbes list of the largest private companies. It has become one of the most essential food distributor in the world, with expansions and joint ventures in Brazil, Hungary, among other countries. The large company continues to evolve and diversify. With an impressive rate, it has expanded to beans, salsa and tofu commodities, in addition to sausage, pizza and hamburger patties. The OSI Group has merged with Turi Foods, the largest poultry processors in Australia, to serve customers in new, innovative ways and build a world class food solution group.OSI Group pinpoints how small businesses can rise to become world’s leading food providers, with hard work and determination.