Past: Small Butcher Shop, Present: OSI Industries

OSI Industries became a substantial part in the 20th century. OSI Industries started out as a small butcher shop located in Chicago, Illinois. Otto Kolschowsky was apart of the German immigrants that lived in Chicago. In just two years of being in the United States, the small butcher shop was opened. The butcher shop was successful and survived the economic struggles that followed both World Wars.

With the butcher shop doing well a decade later, Otto Kolschowsky decided it was time to expand and include whole sale foods to portfolio. The expansion brought on change and the business moved to the suburbs in Maywood. As another decade passed, in 1928, the small, business changed its name to Otto & Sons.

Otto & Sons proved to be stable over the decades that followed. The success of the company opened up great opportunity for Otto & Sons. This was the era of suburbs popping up everywhere and the very first franchise models came into play.

Ray Kroc became the first to open the first franchise model of McDonald’s in 1955. Before Kroc opened the franchise, he entered into a hand shake agreement with Otto’s sons, Arthur and Harry, to be the OSI Industries first beef supplier for McDonald’s. It was that decision that would put Otto & Sons to ride shotgun beside what would become a nationally recognized brand in every home.

Several years pass and Kroc decides to buy out the McDonald’s and became CEO of the modern McDonald’s. This became Otto & Son’s primary job in supplying the regional McDonald’s restaurants. Kroc’s vision was to supply every customer with a consistent product that consumers wanted. This vision put the squeeze on Otto & Sons as well as other suppliers that delivered to McDonald’s.

In 1960, a technological advancement created the flash freeze process using liquid nitrogen. Flash freezing made it easier to freeze food and cut cost at the same time because supply and demand was at an all time high.

OSI Industries success continued to soar over the decades with expansions internationally. As Arthur and Harry neared retirement, Sheldon Lavin was brought on board. His expertise being an investor and executive in banking led to the transiton internationally and the current name the company has now, OSI Industries.

OSI Industries was #58 on Forbes in 2016 as one of the world’s largest, private company with sales reaching $6.1 billion.

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