OSI Group is the leading food production company in the world. The history of the company goes back over 100 years ago when it was founded by Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant who settled in Chicago. He started a meat shop to serve the local community but it turned out to be the best decision he has ever made. The business picked very well and in a matter of two decades, it was the most established wholesale meat supplier in the region. OSI went on to become the biggest regional supplier before going international. Today, it is one of the biggest businesses in the United States.
OSI Group received a major boost from a deal they had with McDonald’s. McDonald’s had just opened its first restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois and hired the services of OSI, the known as Otto & Sons to take care of meat supply to their restaurants. The deal was made possible by the partnership that existed between the owners of Otto & Sons and the Ray Kroc, the man behind McDonald’s. With this deal, the company was set to become an integral part of the meat supply business. McDonald’s grew at a very fast pace and as a result, the suppliers were required to do much more. OSI was required to step up its production capacity to meet the high demand coming from their client.
In the early 1970s, OSI Group built the first food production plant. This plant was meant to supply meat products to McDonald’s. They had to seek financing in order to build the facility. It is at this time that Sheldon Lavin came into the picture. As the person responsible for the financing on behalf of the bank, he interacted a lot with the founders of Otto & Sons. He gave them insight on how they could implement their plans and they were impressed by his input. They offered him an opportunity to join them as an equal partner. Sheldon was impressed by the idea that he left the banking industry to manage the food company. OSI Group now leads in the production of value added foods in the world.