If one could step into a time machine, travel back to the year 1909 and tell a humble German immigrant in Chicago that his small butcher shop would someday be one the biggest multinational companies in the world — would he believe it?
He just might. That’s because Otto Kolschowsky was a driven businessman. He also had the fundamental characteristics of what it takes to achieve success. Provide a exceptionally high quality product, always place the needs of your customers first — and work hard.
Otto Kolschowsky passed on this immigrant work ethic to his sons, Arthur and Harry. By 1928 Otto’s small meat market had become the burgeoning Otto & Sons. The family business continued to thrive and grow, evolving from butcher shop to retail meat seller and then wholesaler.
The company persisted and thrived through two World Wars. Then in 1955 Arthur and Harry made a handshake agreement to supply meat to a new little restaurant called McDonald’s. It was the first of its kind — a franchise that set up shop in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Otto & Sons and McDonald’s hitched their wagons to one another. Ray Kroc and his new partners were hoping for big things — and they got them. While Kroc’s innovative new model — fast food — grew into an American icon, Otto& Sons meat skyrocketed to unprecedented levels of growth and success.
The company became OSI Industries in 1975. It was the key juncture in a 75-year history during which a single-owner butcher shop had matured to become a leading edge, technologically superior, multifaceted company that would dominate the world stage.
Today, OSI Industries boasts 65 facilities operating in 17 countries. Forbes ranked OSI Industries at No. 58 on its list of largest private companies. It has sales of more than $6 billion annually.
OSI Industries is more determined than ever today to continue its arc of growth. The company just recently purchased the 200,000 sq. ft. Tyson Food Plant in Chicago, as just one example of a recent acquisition. It has also recently expanded or acquired facilities in Spain, Australia and Germany.