The OSI Group began as just a local butcher on the west side of Chicago run by a German immigrant. A lot has changed since then, as they now run over 65 facilities in 17 countries and employ over 20,000 people. They are truly one of the great success stories of the last century.
Otto Kolschowsky was a German immigrant living like many other Germans did at the time in Chicago. Chicago was at the heart of industrial growth and was a jumping off point for many immigrants moving further west. In this setting Otto started a small butcher shop in 1909 which he later went on to call Otto and Sons.
In the early days of OSI Group, still known as Otto and Sons it was a thriving local business. Otto had moved on from running a small butcher shop and had begun to work as more of a wholesaler. Successful but still local.
This all changed however after the second world war when Otto’s sons Harry and Arthur struck a deal with Ray Kroc, the man who created the first McDonalds. As you likely know McDonalds was the first restaurant to mainstream the franchise model.
As they grew so did the technology. One such technology known as flash freezing—cryogenic food processing involved the use of liquid nitrogen to quickly freeze meat to very low temperatures. This created many more opportunities for McDonalds as well OSI Group to expand into new markets and further streamline their business.
From here over the next two decades OSI Group grew their relationship even further. At first they were only one of hundreds of suppliers for McDonalds, but over time through their tight relationship they became one of only four major suppliers. In fact in 1973 they even created a plant entirely dedicated to making product for McDonalds!
They didn’t stop there though. More recently OSI Group purchased both Baho Foods, and Flagship Europe was acquired in 2016. They even started OSI Food Solutions Spain. A century long commitment to excellence has clearly paid off.