The OSI Group: A 109 Year Tradition Of Excellence In Food Production

Just over 109 years ago a German immigrant named Otto Kolschowsky opened a neighborhood meat market and butcher shop in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. Called Otto & Sons, the meat market provided community members, restaurants and supermarkets with the finest cuts of meats. When its customer base began to skyrocket, the company moved to a bigger facility in Maywood, Illinois. In 1955, when Ray Kroc needed ground beef patties for the McDonald’s franchise he had just opened in Des Plaines, Illinois, he turned to Otto & Sons. That relationship helped make Otto & Sons very successful.

Otto & Sons purchased state-of-the-art cryogenic flash-freezing equipment in the late 1960s and built a new facility in 1973 to produce the ground beef patties and other products McDonald’s needed. In 1975, the company turned to accountant, former banker and investor, Sheldon Lavin for money to expand. Lavin provided the money for, bought stock in and remained closely associated with Otto & Sons. In 1980 Sheldon Lavin became CEO of the OSI Group company, changed its name to the OSI Group and created an aggressive global expansion plan for the company. It’s now a global food processing leader.

The company is known for the tasty, nutritious food products creates to satisfy the food preferences of people from many different countries and cultures. The OSI Group has also won numerous awards for its excellent environmental management practices. The company is a three-time winner of the Globe of Honor awarded by the British Safety Council, has won the 2018 Environmental Recognition Award given by the North American Meat Institute and has earned the California Green Business Award several times. The OSI Group is also known for its great employee benefits program that’s the envy of many companies.

Throughout its 109 year history, the OSI Group has always been known for its effective use of technical innovations. That has helped the company to be better able to please their customers, protect their employees and the environment and become a world leader in the processing and distribution of the highest quality meat, fish, dough and vegetable products.


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