OSI Industries has an amazing origin story that is also the story of an immigrant who came to the United States with hopes of making it big. That man’s name was Otto Kolschowsky, and he was a part of a large wave of German immigrants who made their way to Chicago during the earliest parts of the 20th century. In 1909, just two years after his arrival, he opened up a humble butcher shop and meat market in Chicago. After building up a stable reputation as a man who does good business, he began to expand into the wholesale aspect of business.
In 1928, when his sons became a larger part of his business, he re-named it Otto & Sons. The company continued to impress its customer base with great service and offerings and later on became one of the original suppliers of beef to McDonald’s. During this time, the company used technological adaptations and innovations that were allowing food to be stored longer and expanded its operations. In the early 1970’s, Otto & Sons, which would soon become OSI Industries, built plant that was completely dedicated to providing McDonald’s with the products it needed. This facility was located in West Chicago and used a modern flash-freezing process for the hamburger patties it provided.
In 1975, Sheldon Lavin joined the company, and to expand its horizons its name was changed from Otto & Sons to OSI Industries. Before this time, the company’s leadership had consisted of the Kolschowsky family, but now, they needed to bring in outside help as the two sons got closer to retiring. After this, OSI Industries began to expand at a rapid pace and opened its first plant outside of the Chicago area. More facilities in the United States were built soon after, and then OSI expanded overseas and became a global force to be reckoned with.
Today, OSI Industries continues to expand upon its offerings by opening new facilities in the United States and the world, at-large. The company now has a pair of Culinary Innovation Centers where chefs come up with innovative new food creations for their customer base. Along with this, OSI has been ramping up its security and food protection technology as well as focusing on being more sustainable. By partnering up with other companies and acquiring others, OSI has been able to reach new markets and understand its customer base on an entirely new level. It all started with an immigrant with a dream, and that man was Otto Kolschowsky.
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