The Birth And Growth Of Food Processing Industry Leader OSI Industries

When people hear the name OSI Industries, they think of the large, technologically advanced international food processing leader with over 20,000 employees and 65 processing plants in 17 countries. But none of that would be possible without Otto Kolschowsky. He’s the German immigrant who founded the company in Oak Park, Illinois in 1909 as a neighborhood meat market called Otto & Sons. Kolschowsky’s focus was on providing the families in his community with quality cuts of meats. Within a few years the company was providing meat wholesale to restaurants and supermarkets throughout Illinois.

The next major step in the growth of Otto & Sons was when they acquired a large facility in Maywood, Illinois which allowed them to better serve both their wholesale and retail customers. Landing the contract to provide Ray Kroc and his Des Plaines, Illinois based first McDonald’s franchise with ground beef patties created another spike in growth for Otto & Sons. By the late 1960s they needed the latest flash freezing technology to keep up with McDonald’s growing need for ground beef patties. Otto & Sons built a separate facility to produce products for McDonald’s in 1973.

A few years later, Otto & Sons reached out to the financial services company owned by accountant and banking industry Sheldon Lavin for the money they needed to expand. Impressed with the company’s potential, Lavin not only got them the funding and invested in the company’s stock, he remained closely involved with Otto & Sons. Lavin eventually acquired a majority of the company’s stock. In 1980 Sheldon Lavin became CEO. He changed the name of the company to OSI Industries and implemented his plan for global expansion. OSI Group acquires Baho Food

Under Lavin’s visionary leadership, OSI Industries made major inroads into the Asian market, building 10 poultry facilities in China and food processing plants in India, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand. In Europe, OSI Industries built facilities Spain, Germany, Hungary and Poland and acquired Flagship Europe and Baho Foods. The company also built facilities throughout the United States and does joint partnerships with companies in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and several other countries.  original source