In 1909, Otto Kolschowsky opened a little butcher shop and retail meat market in Oak Park, Chicago. As one of many German immigrants settling in Chicago, Kolschowsky wanted to serve his community. At the time, Chicago was a hub for immigrant influences, as many stopped off in Chicago before heading further west to establish farms.
Though OSI Group is a multinational food provider today; it all started with Kolschowsky’s little butcher shop. Today, OSI Group’s corporate headquarters are still in the Midwest. OSI Group’s history in the Midwest began after the First World War when Kolschowsky’s butchery expanded in the wholesale business.
Within ten years of arriving in the United States, Kolschowsky built a regional success. After World War I, Kolschowsky moved his operations to Maywood. To make his company more pronounceable for other Americans, like many family-based, immigrant businesses, he renamed his company.
Otto & Sons included his children, Arthur and Harry, who would take to the company to new heights. During the 50s, the sons met with Ray Kroc, a franchise agent from California. Kroc wanted to open a new kind of restaurant that built upon the traditional concept of a family restaurant.
Before opening his first chain restaurant, Kroc made a deal with the sons that they’d provide his business with fresh ground beef. The sons had no idea what they signed for but soon realized the potential Kroc’s restaurant would be. In 1955, the first McDonald’s opened its doors, and a legend was born.
Otto & Sons turned into OSI after the brothers became one of four suppliers providing McDonald’s restaurants with fresh beef. They invested in cryogenic freezing technology, which significantly set them apart from the competition. As McDonald’s grew internationally, OSI quietly grew in their shadow.
Today, OSI Group is one of the largest food solutions providers in the world. They have more than 20,000 employees working in nearly 20 different countries. OSI continues expanding its resources and flavors under the leadership of Sheldon Lavin and David McDonald.
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