The History of Foodservice Giant OSI Group

If you’re generally interested in the foodservice industry, then you’ve probably heard about OSI Group. When it comes to developing, sourcing, managing and processing food products, this is the company to beat. OSI Group was founded back in 1909 by a German-immigrant named Otto Kolschowki. Kolschowski came to America at the turn of the 20th century, and he has played an important role in Chicago’s agricultural scene. During the early 1900s, the city of Chicago’s population exploded with growth. Twenty-five percent of the city’s demographics were of German decent. Carl Sandburg, a popular American poet, stated that “Chicago is the city of broad shoulders.”

Back in the day, OSI was known as Otto & Sons. This small butcher shop was located on a corner in Oak Park, Illinois. The family-owned business sold some of the best tasting meats in the area. As word began to spread, Otto & Sons began to increase its services. As the years passed, the family-owned business jumped into the food wholesale business. This is when the company truly began to increase its net worth. During the postwar economic expansion, small businesses were powering the economy. As the larger cities began to spread outward, more and more of these small businesses started popping-up.

The company didn’t change its name until 1975. At this point in time, it had facilities in Illinois and in Utah. Thanks to its close ties with McDonald’s, OSI Group opened a facility that only catered to this popular hamburger chain. Sheldon Lavin, the current CEO of the company, has guided OSI Group straight to the top. OSI is now a multibillion dollar company thanks to Lavin’s leadership role. Thanks to his strong passion and perseverance, he has gone on to win the affluent Global Visionary Award. What more can you ever ask for? OSI Group was the top food provider of the past, is the top food provider of the present and will be the top food provider of the future.

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