OSI Industries is the premier name in the food service industry supply chain origination sector, but it’s hasn’t always been that way. Long before the company had more than 20,000 employees working at more than 65 facilities in 17 countries, it was a growing organization that had its roots about as humbly as it can get. Like many major corporations, OSI Industries (also known as the OSI Group) started out with the simple desire for someone to provide for themselves and their family. In the case of OSI, that person was a man by the name of Otto Kolschowsky. It was the turn of the 20th century and Otto, like many immigrants at the time, was working hard to make his new life in America. He wasn’t just pursuing the American dream for himself, though, he was also doing it for his wife and several children.
Otto came from a long line of butcher men. His family had been butchering for generations and Otto had learned the trade well from his father. With that in mind, there was no better place to ply that trade than Chicago, which at the time was the international capital of the meatpacking industry. Otto wasn’t interested in being the butcher to the world, though, he just wanted to provide for his family and thus he started his own retail meat market in the Oak Park area of the west side. It was a German immigrant-heavy area, and everyone was very pleased with the high-quality cuts of meat, and the high standard of customer services, that Otto provided them.
It wasn’t long before Otto’s Meat Market was the name to turn to for the best meat and poultry in the area. Soon, restaurants and hotels started to turn to Otto’s for their meat needs as well, and to keep up with the demand Otto expanded the business to include his two sons and to begin providing wholesale meats to the establishments in the greater Chicago area that were turning to him for the best available to offer their clientele. During this time another name began to turn to Otto & Sons for high-quality meat as well, McDonald’s.
McDonald’s was enjoying the biggest boom in franchise fast food history and as such, they needed to expand their regional supply network across the country to keep up with the demands of an American populace that didn’t seem to be able to get enough Big Macs and Classic Cheeseburgers. They turned to Otto & Sons to handle their upper Midwest needs for Illinois and the surrounding area. It was a partnership that would, over the next 20 years, lead to the company being the sole source of proteins for the McDonald’s system nationwide and into Canada and Mexico.
Through innovation and expansion, Otto & Sons soon became the largest supplier of high-quality proteins to not only the US McDonalds Market, but to the McDonald’s system overseas, and to other food service outlets as well. Their commitment to quality, innovation, and high business practice standards has made them the leader in the industry. Today they not only provide high-quality proteins to hundreds of distributors in all market sectors and product categories around the world, but they have even expanded to become a leader in vegan, been alternative, and pork alternative protein substitutes in countries such as India, Israel, and throughout the middle east.
It has been a long road from humble beginnings to being the number one provider of proteins to the food service industry globally, but one thing has not changed. OSI Industries still strive to provide the best quality products, the highest level of customer care, and the most responsible business practices possible. It’s the way Otto did it, and it’s the way OSI Industries will always do it.