OSI Industries is one of the largest food production companies in the world. It has employed over 20,000 workers worldwide and operates in 17 countries. Also, it has 65 facilities located in different countries. The story of this company is inspiring to many entrepreneurs who struggle with businesses. The company started from a humble beginning in 1909, and over time, it developed into a leading company globally. OSI Industries is a perfect example of a company which shows the evolving story of the American economy. It started as a butcher shop in Chicago, but today it is doing very well.
OSI Industries have its genesis in the immigrant community in the United States. A German immigrant named Otto Kolschowsky. In the early 20th century, many immigrants were coming to Chicago because it was an entry point for German immigrants. In fact, high population of Chicago then was made up of the Germans. Just two years after arriving in the United States, Otto Kolschowsky started a butcher shop in Oak Park to serve his community. The business picked up very well within the first decade. By the time, the World War One was over, the butcher shop had expanded, and it was now a wholesale business dealing with meat products exclusively. In the following decade, it continued to do very well and was even named Otto & Sons after his sons joined the business. A few decades later, Otto & Sons continued to grow but maintaining its supply to the local market.
After World War Two, the economy started to grow rapidly. It is this expansion that would lead to the turn of the story, for now, OSI Industries. A business alliance was formed between Otto & Sons and McDonald’s which had just been launched in Illinois. The two businesses were small, but as fate would have it, the two would grow to be leading multinationals in the 21st century.
In 1955, Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald’s restaurant in Illinois. The Illinois branch was the first in a new business model that we see today as the McDonald’s with multiple restaurants in different parts of the globe. Kroc had an agreement with the Sons of Otto, to supply beef products. As the company took off, OSI Food Industries would become one of the top beneficiaries of the expansion. As the McDonald’s expanded to every corner of the United States, OSI Industries was under pressure to deliver the high volumes of food products.