OSI Industries started as a local meat market and butcher shop in 1909. Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant opened his modest shop in Chicago, Illinois a few years after moving to the US. After a decade of business Kolschowsky started as a wholesale distributor. Later Kolschowsky brought his sons Arthur and Henry into the family business.
Arthur and Henry had big plans for OSI Industries. The Kolschowsky brothers had made a major sale with comrade Ray Kroc. Ray Kroc became CEO of McDonalds and had made a deal with the brothers that OSI would be his first supplier of ground beef. The franchise started to grow rapidly and suppling McDonald’s meat patties became the primary focus. The task of suppling quality food across a large areas was a challenge for many supplier in the 50’s.
In the 60’s OSI started to prefect the processes of flash freezing. This innovative technique reduced company cost and allowed for mass production. This and the Kolschowsky bothers agreement with Kroc changed OSI from one of hundreds of meat suppliers to one of four. Soon after McDonald’s went overseas so did OSI, opening a location in Germany in the 70’s and Spain in the 80’s.
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OSI Industries growth was more than multinational locations. Growth for this company meant expanding clients, making a variety of products and being environmentally responsible. OSI was able to take on new and different clients with this expansion such as Berger King, Papa John’s, Starbucks and Subway to name a few. New innovative products became more diverse then just ground beef including but not limited to poultry, frozen entrées, frozen vegetables and even tofu. They are also concerned with green practices, improving on animal welfare, energy waste and air emission. The company has won awards world wide for their commitment to the environment included the International Safety Award as resent as 2017.
Today OSI Industries ran by Sheldon Lavin and is one of the largest food providers in the world, with 65 locations in 17 countries. One mans American dream, over 100 years ago is now a multibillion and multinational privately owned company.
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