OSI Group started off as a neighborhood butcher shop that was founded by a German immigrant in the Oak Park section of Chicago in 1909. This butcher shop’s original name was Otto & Sons, and it grew to be a successful local business for several years. Otto Kolschowsky, the founder of Otto & Sons, had a chance meeting with Ray Kroc in 1955. This meeting would change the fortunes of Otto & Sons forever. The relationship between Otto and Ray Kroc of McDonald’s would help Otto & Sons become OSI Group, which is one of the largest food distributors in the world.
Ray Kroc would later buy out the McDonald’s corporation and become its CEO. Otto & Sons were in a unique position to provide the ever-increasing number of McDonald’s restaurants with a consistent and affordable supply of beef. The financial windfall over the next couple of decades helped Otto & Sons to upgrade their process and equipment. In recognition of their technologically advanced operations, Otto & Sons changed its name to OSI Industries in 1975. When McDonald’s went international in the late 1970s, so did OSI Industries with joint ventures in Germany and Spain. OSI Industries would later change its name to OSI Group to reflect its growth in the international arena.
Over the next several years, OSI would expand its global operation into several markets, including Brazil, Austria, Mexico, Hungary, Poland, China, the Philippines, India, Australia, and Taiwan. The company also expanded its food production beyond beef products to include pork, poultry, and vegetables
Today, OSI Group has over 20,000 employees working in 65 facilities in 17 countries. The company had $6.1 billion in sales in 2016, which made it the 58th largest private company in America according to Forbes. OSI Group’s history from its humble beginnings to a global multi-billion dollar corporation makes it a true American success story.
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