This is the story of Otto & Sons, better known as OSI Food Solutions, a company that started with an immigrants dream and is now on Forbes Top 100 Private Companies list with $6.1 billion sales. So how did it get there? Well, this is the story of a little meat shop in Western Chicago.
Otto Kolschowsky was a German immigrant, one among many others. He came in the great German migration of the very early 1900s. In 1909, a short two years after arriving in America, Otto opened a butcher shop. It was a local hit and was eventually rebranded to Otto & Sons once his sons grew to age in 1928. For years, the small butcher shop serviced the Chicago area with little more than local dreams. However, in 1955 Otto’s sons, Henry and Arthur, made a particularly important handshake agreement. This agreement was with Ray Kroc, who was about to open his first McDonalds. Otto & Sons would be the primary beef supplier to the establishment, as Ray liked the quality and speed of the beef they delivered.
Of course, what happened next was an explosion. Within the next two years, McDonald’s spread, and it spread fast. The relationship between McDonald’s and Otto & Sons was steady. During these years Otto & Sons rebranded to OSI Food Solutions in order to shed their small family hometown status and emerge as players in a multi-national meat market industry. OSI started to swallow the competition and make important acquisitions in order to bolster their product inventory and global presence.
To meat the thousands of McDonald’s that had emerged, as well as new clientele with names such as Burger King, Starbucks, Yum, Papa John’s, and Subway, OSI Food Solutions started to make some factories. In 2011, they opened a dry sausage plant in West Jordan, Utah as well as a frozen entree planet in Illinois.
Then they started to open plants abroad. In 2010 a plant was opened in Japan. In 2012 two more were opened in India. In 2013, Poland got a new plant, as well as China. The following year India received another plant. In the United States plants were springing to life as well. Some opened in California to make beans and salsa, others opened in Chicago to meet chicken demand. OSI was booming.
The larger than life company now services every aspect of the food industry. It creates business and compels brands to use interesting and creative foods. OSI Food Solutions may have started in a neighborhood in Chicago, but today it’s in almost every neighborhood in the world. So next time you stop by your favorite fast food chain, there is a good chance that OSI is supplying them with a product.
OSI Food Solutions info: www.bundesverband-systemgastronomie.de/osi-food-solutions.html
In 1909 German immigrant, Otto Kolschowsky started a small meat market in the suburbs of Chicago. Today the OSI group is one of Forbes Magazines top 100 most highly successful privately owned American business with over 6 billion dollars in revenue.
Kolschowsky died in 1975 at the age of 86, after establishing a prominent legacy in the meat processing industry. That success continued to grow last summer, when the OSI group purchased one of Tyson Food’s processing plants located on Chicago’s South Side.
Some wondered if spending over 7 million dollars for a failing food plant was a good business decision. Tyson Foods had anticipated all the nearly 480 jobs at the facility would be lost when it closed. The purchase has already saved at least 250 of those jobs.
Spokespersons for the Aurora-based food company indicated that the plant would not be closed and that executives were excited to add a facility so close to their main headquarters. By adding the 200,000 square foot facility, the OSI Group will keep job opportunities in one of Chicago’s struggling back yard neighborhoods. The new plant will continue OSI growth as a worldwide distributor of meat products like breakfast sausage, bacon and now quality chicken products.
The global food network employs over 20,000 people around the world in 17 different countries. Purchasing the Tyson plant in Chicago brings the North American total number of plants in operation to a dozen facilities in seven different states. North American operations also include two plants in Canada and one in Brazil.
More information at http://www.osigroup.com/locations/