OSI Group is today an international food processor with an impressive range of abilities in both production and culinary creation. Their method of global expansion has been very strategic in nature and highly effective as well. The 65 facilities in 17 countries they operate give witness to this as well as approximately 20,000 employees. It would have been hard to imagine all of this around the year 1909.
Otto Kolschowsky was a German immigrant who settled in Chicago where he opened a butcher shop and meat market shortly after arriving. He began serving the local community and in particular many other Germans who had also emigrated. His business was successful and eventually expanded when he ventured into the wholesale meat industry.
His two sons also participated in his trade and they were eventually called Otto & Sons. For many years they were a successful strand in the fabric of the community in this fashion. They were small and yet a significant part of the lives of local residents.
When Ray Kroc came calling things changed immeasurably for Otto & Sons in the mid-fifties. He was searching for a meat supplier for the first McDonald’s location that was planned for Des Plaines, Illinois. This restaurant became the first one of the new franchise model that was taking root in America. With a handshake agreement, an amazing relationship was begun that continues to this day.
The business of Otto & Sons took off as the number of McDonald’s franchises expanded at a rapid pace. The two companies grew together and eventually an entire plant was devoted to supplying burgers for McDonald’s. This happened in 1973 as a key executive came on board to help. Sheldon Lavin displayed great expertise in banking and investing to help bring this about. He would also become the CEO of OSI Group in the not too distant future.
Otto & Sons changed their name to OSI Group in 1975 as all the original family members retired. The new name reflects the global nature of the business and also acknowledges their history with the Kolschowsky family as their founders.
Sheldon Lavin brought with him an intuitive understanding of the opportunities for global expansion. He became the visionary that helped guide OSI Group to unprecedented levels of growth around the world. Their expansion has been on a regular basis and very strategic in nature. They have excelled in crafting partnerships with top food brands in Europe and Asia as well as other places.
OSI Group info: www.crunchbase.com/organization/osi-group