OSI Industries started out as a humble, corner butcher shop that was founded by the German immigrant, Otto Kolschowsky. While it is known, today, as one of the largest custom food providers in the world, its roots go back to the west side of Chicago, or more specifically, oak park, where it served local customers. During the early part of the 20th century, Otto Kolschowsky came to the United States with hopes to start a new life. He was part of the large number of immigrants who were coming to Chicago from Germany, and it only took him a couple of years to establish his butcher shop. Due to his excellent business practices and offerings, his business would grow to include wholesale offers just ten years after it was started up.
In 1928, Otto Kolschowsky decided to rename his business to Otto & Sons in order to represent his two sons whom were now working with him. After a handshake agreement between the owner of McDonald’s and Otto Kolschowsky, Otto & Sons would become one of the earliest suppliers of beef for McDonald’s. Who would of known that McDonald’s would grow so rapidly and become the king of fast food, but it did so, and this forced Otto & Sons to expand their business even further. Over the next twenty years, the company transformed from being a local supplier to a global supplier, and in 1974, Otto & Sons constructed a facility that would be dedicated to only providing McDonald’s with the products it needed.
Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, Otto & Sons would continue its expansion by building new facilities in the United States. They also expanded into Spain and Germany where McDonald’s was doing the same. During this time, Otto & Sons changed their name to OSI Industries as the new CEO, Sheldon Lavin, took over some of the duties for the two brothers. A worldwide expansion began to take place and OSI Industries moved into Mexico, Hungary, Brazil, Austria, and Poland. Later on, the company expanded into the Philippines and China and also continued to fill-out its operations in the United States. With strong leadership guiding the company, there would be no slowing it down.
Today, OSI Industries is a global force to be reckoned with, and it all started out with the story of a German immigrant who had big dreams to make it in the United States.