OSI Group: Starting From The Bottom

They’re one of the largest food providers in the world who has amassed 20,000 employees over a stretch of 17 countries inside 65 facilities. The OSI Group started from the bottom and rose its way up to be a huge corporate business with an enormous piece of the 20th century economy. It has made its presence in the market and continues to grow as a modernized business within the globally ever-changing economy.

Roots

OSI Group begins with an American immigrant story. At the beginning of the 20th century, Otto Kolschowsky was a German immigrant living in Chicago. At this time Germans were a quarter of the population in the city during this period. The city thrived as the new entry point for immigrants fleeing to the area in hopes of creating their own farms. However, in 1909, Chicago’s Oak Park on the west side, Kolschowsky started a small meat market and butcher shop for the residents in his community. This went on for nearly a decade and he was able to do good business. Yet when the first world war was ending, this prompted Kolschowsky to get into the wholesale business. That said, he picked up his operations and headed to Maywood, a Chicago suburb.

Within 10 years the business formed into a thriving immigrant, family-owned company with the new name of Otto and Sons. At the start of the post-war economic expansion there was an increase of suburbs growing throughout the United States. A demand and inventiveness rose as the war was ending. There are only two small family businesses left in this growing market. This was at the time in 1955 when the first McDonald’s was open by Ray Kroc in Des Plaines Illinois. He was a franchise agent who represented a couple by the name Richard and Maurice McDonald out of San Bernardino California. The OSI Group remains as a leading provider of meat. The owners serviced McDonalds for years after they cut a deal to remain as the main producer of their famous burgers. OSI Group continues finding ways to elevate the food processing business across the world.