OSI Industries is a cutting-edge food service company, who has plants in many countries across the globe. However, they weren’t always an industrial giant. Like many large, well known companies today, this giant had a humble beginning.
First founded by a man named Otto Kolschowsky, who was a German immigrant, OSI Industries began as a small, family owned butcher shop in a small neighborhood on the west side of Chicago. Otto’s butcher shop was so successful that within a decade of founding, which coincided with the end of the first World War, he had expanded not only into another neighborhood in Chicago, but also into the wholesale sector of the market. This move would prove to be an important step towards the company’s future in the global market.
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In 1928, Otto renamed his business Otto & Sons. Not long after that, he had an opportunity to expand his company even more. In 1955 Otto was approached by a man named Ray Kroc. Ray was a franchiser for the McDonalds restaurant, and was seeking a supply line for the expansion of McDonalds. After a discussion and a handshake, Otto and Kroc entered into an agreement; Otto was to supply McDonalds with a consistent, quality ground beef product.
This proved to be challenging after McDonalds expanded and grew in popularity. The demand for Otto’s ground beef patties forced his company to look for new ways of supplying and transporting his product to McDonalds. One way they achieved this was through a technological advance call flash-freezing, a process done with liquid nitrogen. This step into the technological world proved to also be their first step into becoming OSI Industries, a globally operated company.
1975 saw Otto & Sons become OSI Industries, to better signify their ever expanding reach. In 1977, they opened their first plant out-of-state in Iowa. 1978 marked their first expansion into the global market, opening a plant in Germany, and another in Spain in 1980. Today, OSI Industries continues to show remarkable growth, bringing in $6.1 Billion in revenue, and ranking #58 on Forbes list of the Largest Private Companies.
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