The OSI Group is a leader in the global food processing industry. It has customers and processing plants throughout the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe. The company has won countless awards for its thoughtful environmental management practices, produces diverse food products specifically designed to please the palettes of people from diverse cultures and created a generous benefits package for its over 20,000 employees that has engendered their loyalty. The foundation of it all is the family atmosphere that permeates the company. That’s only fitting, because 109 years ago it was founded as a family meat market called Otto & Sons.
Otto Kolschowsky had immigrated from Germany to the United States two years before founding meat market in Oak Park, Illinois in 1909. He offered the finest cuts of meat and was soon providing meat for local supermarkets and restaurants. He moved into a larger facility in the Chicago suburb of Maywood, Illinois to handle the wholesale trade. When Ray Kroc asked them to provide ground beef patties for his first McDonald’s franchise in 1955, the company’s fortunes grew. By 1973, they had built a facility with cryogenic technology just to meet McDonald’s growing demand.
In 1975, Otto & Sons approached Sheldon Lavin’s firm looking for money to expand. Lavin provided the money, bought large amounts of the company’s stock and when the original owners retired, he took over the company. From the very beginning Lavin focused on expansion. He renamed the company the OSI Group and built food processing plants throughout the United States, Europe and Asia and in Mexico and Brazil. The company now has over 65 food processing plants in 17 countries worldwide, over 20,000 employees and millions of customers. OSI Group acquires Baho Food.
Several things have helped to make the OSI Group an international food processing industry leader. The company has consistently created delicious, nutritious food products specifically designed to meet the needs of people from a variety of cultures. Plus, the OSI Group has instituted award-winning environmental management and worker safety practices. Despite its explosive growth, the company retains the family atmosphere Otto Kolschowsky created over 109 years ago.
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