People in 85 countries get some of the food they eat from an Aurora, Illinois based company called OSI Industries. The 109 year old company is a world leader in the processing of food for top brands, restaurants, supermarkets and private individuals. Now the United State’s 58th largest private company, the company was founded as a butcher shop by a German immigrant named Otto Kolschowsky. From the very beginning, Kolschowsky was known for offering the highest quality meat products. Today, that tradition continues as the company delivers delicious, nutritious, innovative meat, fish, vegetable and dough products specially created for people from diverse cultures.
Otto Kolschowsky’s commitment to providing the best cuts of meat led to a steady increase in demand. By the late 1920s his company, then called Otto & Sons, had moved to Maywood, Illinois and was providing restaurants and supermarkets with wholesale meat. In 1955, when Ray Kroc opened his first McDonald’s franchise in Des Plaines, Illinois, he made a handshake agreement with Otto & Sons for them to provide him with ground beef. Soon there were McDonald’s all over the country and providing them with meat products became Otto & Sons primary focus. They had to create a separate branch of the company to supply the supermarkets and restaurants.
In the 1970s, Otto & Sons turned to financial services professional Sheldon Lavin to assist them in finding money to expand. Lavin provided the money and became a top investor in the company. By 1980, the original owners had retired and Sheldon Lavin became the company’s CEO and changed its name to OSI Industries. Lavin crafted a visionary expansion plan that resulted in the company building 65 facilities located in 17 different countries and having hundreds of millions of customers. The company’s ability to create food products to suit the specific tastes of people from many different cultures has helped to make it prosper.
Along with building food processing facilities in Asia, Europe, Australia and North, Central and South America, OSI Industries did joint ventures in several countries and acquired food services companies Flagship Europe in the UK, Baho Foods in the Netherlands and Amick Farms in the U.S. The forward-looking environmental stewardship policies Sheldon Lavin created has led OSI Industries to win numerous awards. They include the British Safety Council’s Globe of Honor, the North American Meat Institute’s Environmental Recognition Award and the California Green Business Award.
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