How OSI Group Went from a Humble Beginning to Being a Multinational Enterprise

OSI Group has seen a lot of changes over its history. When this food processing company was established in 1909 it was a retail store specializing in meat-based products with an attached butcher shop. The owner of this company at the time, Otto Kolschowsky, was an immigrant to America and very ambitious. Within 10 years he started to develop a wholesale side of the business and began supplying other butcher shops regionally. In the 1920s he brought his two sons into the business and rebranded his family-owned company as Otto & Sons.

As time went on the wholesale side of the business became the main focus. 1955 was a critical year in the history of OSI Group. It was in that year that Otto & Sons was chosen by Ray Kroc to be his exclusive provider of beef that would be used in his restaurant’s hamburgers and cheeseburgers. For those unfamiliar with Ray Kroc, he was the owner of the very first McDonald’s franchise. Before long he bought McDonald’s as he continued opening more and more locations. As McDonald’s expanded Otto & Sons did so right alongside it. Supplying McDonald’s restaurants rapidly became the primary task of Otto & Sons.

The next fateful year in this company’s history was 1975. Sheldon Lavin, a financial consultant, helped out Otto & Sons and in doing so developed a strong relationship with the founder’s two sons who were still running it. The two sons asked Sheldon Lavin to join the company and so he became its CEO and one of the owners. Under his leadership, the company, now named OSI Group, expanded internationally and can now be found in countries around the world.

OSI Group today is a huge multinational firm that has many customers in both the restaurant and grocery industries. They long since moved beyond just supplying processed beef to their customers. They moved into supplying other proteins such as pork, seafood, and chicken. They also process fruits and vegetables for their customers. Additionally, they create value-added processed food such as pizzas, taquitos, panini, flatbread, frozen entrées, soups, salsa, and more.