The Rise of OSI Industries from a Butcher Shop to an International Company

OSI Industries, based in Aurora, Illinois, is among the largest food providers in the world. It is the 63rd largest private company in America according to Forbes, with record sales of $6.1 Billion. The company deals with a wide range of food products. These range from meat products made from beef, pork, and fish, to vegetable and cheese products. Sheldon Lavin has been its CEO since the 1980s. The company had its humble beginnings more than 100 years ago as a butcher shop. Today, it makes a significant contribution to the economy of America.

The humble beginnings

Its history began with Otto Kolschowsky who was a German immigrant based in Chicago. Otto started a meat shop to serve the nearby residents. In a year, he was a wholesaler in the business and had operations in Maywood. The business continued to grow many years after 1928 when its name changed to Otto & Sons, a family managed business.

The company got its footing thanks to businessman Ray Kroc who was the CEO of McDonald’s Restaurants. Before the formation of the restaurant, Otto & Sons had agreed to be the supplier of fresh ground beef for McDonald’s. In a few years, Kroc bought out McDonalds and Otto & Sons became its main supplier. As McDonald’s restaurants increased, so did business for Otto & Sons.

The emergence of the flash freezing technology made it easier to expand business and reduce on costs. Otto & Sons was also the main meat supplier when McDonald’s consolidated its supply chain. The company built its initial plant in 1973 to supply products to McDonalds in Illinois. It also served local food service outlets and also diversified to other food sectors. In 1975, its name changed to OSI industries and its leadership changed as the family owners approached retirement. Sheldon Lavin joined the company as partner in 1975 and later became its CEO.

International expansion

As McDonald’s continued to become international, OSI industries followed. Ever since, the company has continued to expand by creating expansions and joint ventures worldwide. It now covers 17 countries. OSI industries Integrates latest technology. Moreover, it partners with on the ground producers to continue to manufacture the best products.

Learn More: www.bizjournals.com/chicago/cotm/detail/316/OSI-Group

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