OSI Group, The Rise of Humble Butcher

The OSI Group, a name known in the international market as a supply powerhouse, has some very humble beginnings. The founder, Otto Kolschowsky, came to the United states at the turn of the century looking for his chance in the land of opportunity. This dream started with Mr. Kolschowsky opening a local meat retail and butcher shop in Oak Park on the west side of Chicago. By the end of the first World War, this small shop had expanded to working in wholesale and expanded its operations to the suburb of Maywood. Within another decade the business had been renamed Otto and Sons and continued to flourish.

Otto and Sons continued to prosper for decades. A faithful move based around a handshake with the soon to be CEO of the McDonald’s franchise would seal the fate of this company to be on the path to having an international presence. Over the next few decades, as McDonalds grew, Otto and Son’s grew. The business model that Ray Kroc was implementing to expand his business, what is now known as the franchise model, propelled the two companies to expanding all across the United States. This presented a new challenge for Otto and Sons. How to keep the burgers they were supplying Kroc’s expanding business so that the product was constantly fresh. This challenge lead to the flash freezing technology being developed and implemented for their shipments across the country.

In 1975, after years of partnering with Kroc and even opening a dedicated plant to chain, Otto and Sons changed their name to OSI Group. Their revolutionary technology now allowing them to serve burgers all across the globe to Kroc’s chain, but also allowing them to start picking up other proteins for international shipments. The next few decades are history as the OSI Group is now an international giant in food processing and distribution. The OSI Group is now not only a multi billion dollar a year business as of 2016, but also an award winner of the Globe of Honour award from the British Safety Council. All of this from the humble beginings of Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant and holder of his own legacy.

Learn More: www.creativefoodseurope.eu/osi-group

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