Boasting a roster of more than twenty-thousand employees working at more than 65 facilities across the globe, OSI Industries is undoubtedly one of the world’s largest and most successful food providers. Even though OSI has built up this tremendous standing in the worldwide foodservice industry, the company refuses to stagnate and its overall story continues to evolve.
The story of OSI Industries is like a microcosm of the overall immigrant experience of America. Early in the twentieth century, OSI’s founder Otto Kolchowsky came to the U.S.A. from his native Germany and entered into the meat business with a local meat shop located in Oak Park, Illinois. The Chicago, Illinois area was a perfect place to start a meat business during the early 1900s and Otto made the most of his opportunity by developing a business that was so successful that he was able to shift his focus to the realm of wholesale after the conclusion of World War I.
The wholesale business model really started to take over for Otto’s company which he called Otto and Sons. Those sons, Arthur and Harry were also instrumental in helping the company grown. They famously struck a deal in 1955 with McDonald’s Restaurants that would really help to take the company to a new level and establish it as a major wholesale distributor in the Midwest United States. This was one of the major springboards for OSI Industries and another one was when Sheldon Lavin was added to the executive team at the firm. The financial expert would help the company the grow its business model and expand across the United States and all of North America, beginning in the 1970s. When the Kolchowsky’s had all retired from the business, Sheldon gained control of the company, now known as OSI Industries and the company embarked on an international expansion path that continues to date.
The €17 million expansion that OSI Industries has recently completed in Toledo, Spain is an example of how the company has no plans to simply rest on past laurels and stagnate. This expansion has allowed that processing facility to double its chicken production. This is critical due to the increasing demands for processed chicken in the countries of Spain and Portugal. OSI is committed to serving its Spanish and Portuguese customers and this upgrade is perfect evidence of that fact.