Ned Bittinger

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The OSI Group: From Neighborhood Meat Market To Global Leader

The OSI Group has a 109 year tradition of excellence. It started in 1909 when Otto Kolschowsky founded his meat market in Oak Park, Illinois. The company was known for its quality meat and within the next decade began providing wholesale meat for supermarkets and restaurants in Illinois. Today the company’s headquarters is in Aurora, Illinois, it has branches on 5 continents, millions of customers worldwide and is a global leader in the food processing industry. The OSI Group has expanded its offerings to include innovative, culturally-diverse fish, meat, vegetable and dough products. OSI Group acquires Baho Food.

By 1928, Otto Kolschowsky’s meat market had expanded into larger facilities in Maywood, Illinois, changed its name to Otto & Sons and had become a very important community institution. Good fortune smiled on Otto & Sons in 1955 when Ray Kroc chose them to provide beef patties for his fledgling McDonald’s franchise in Des Plaines, Illinois. As new McDonald’s began popping up all over the country, Otto & Sons’ fortune soared. They purchased the latest flash-freezing technology in the 1960s to be able to transport the beef patties around the country. In 1973, the company built a plant that focused on producing the products McDonald’s wanted.

The late 1970s saw Sheldon Lavin helping the company get the financing they needed for further expansion. When Arthur and Harry, the sons of Otto Kolschowsky, retired, Lavin became CEO. He renamed the company the OSI Group to better reflect his global vision for it and set about expanding the company’s customer base, building processing facilities, acquiring companies and doing joint ventures throughout North America, Central and South America, Asia, Australia and Europe. Today, the OSI Group has 65 processing plants in almost 20 countries and millions of customers around the world.

The company’s commitment to producing the highest quality products hasn’t changed. They have diversified their product line and garnered praise for their ability to create unique products to meet the dietary preferences of people from many different cultures. The OSI Group has also won numerous awards for its environmental sustainability practices and employee loyalty for its generous benefits program.

Contact OSI Group: www.osieurope.com/en.html



Sheldon Lavin role in the expansion of the OSI Group

OSI Group is one of the largest food manufacturing company in the world. The company which was started around 1910 by Otto Kolschwsky started as a butcher shop before advancing into one of the biggest companies in the country. It has undergone a transition from a butcher shop to Otto & Sons and finally to OSI Group. It is one of the surviving companies of the last century which shows the history of the American economy. Today, OSI Group operates in 17 countries and has over 65 facilities spread out across the world. It businesses activities are almost on every continent currently. OSI Group is in the process of expanding its operations to more places across the world under the leadership of President David McDonald and CEO Sheldon Lavin.

The growth of OSI Group has everything to do with the success of McDonald’s franchise business model. OSI Group got its first huge order of foods from McDonald’s which started opening up restaurants in the 1950s. Even today, OSI Group remains a foods supplier to the largest food chain restaurants in the world. It does not normally sell its products in retail.

As McDonald’s rapidly grew in the country, OSI group was forced to open its first food plant so that it could meet the huge demand which was coming from the McDonald’s. The plant was opened in 1973. As the company grew fast, Otto &Sons was renamed to OSI industries in 1975. By this time, the company was no longer operating like a butcher shop, but as a manufacturer applying the latest technology at the time to manufacture and supply food.

As time went by, OSI Group needed to expand its business operations to other parts of the globe. Since the sons of Otto were approaching their retirement age, they decided to bring in a new member into the company in 1975 Sheldon Lavin joined OSI Group as an equal partner. Sheldon Lavin was a financial expert and assisted the company during its capitalization in the 1970s.

McDonald’s continued to expand its businesses all over the country, and OSI Group was also forced to keep up with the pace by opening other plants outside Chicago. McDonald’s went global, and OSI Group followed suit. It opened plants in Spain and Germany through joint ventures.

Sheldon Lavin rose to the position of CEO after the two sons of Otto retired and left him as the only director in the company. Sheldon Lavin is now the CEO of the company and continues to push the dream of the initial owners of the company. It is spreading its operations to as many countries as possible.

Read More: angel.co/sheldon-lavin




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