When world leading food wholesale and food solutions giant OSI Group began in 1909, it was simply a neighborhood butcher and meat market in the Chicago, Illinois suburb of Oak Park. The company was the creation of German immigrant Otto Kolschowsy and his family and it built up a steady customer base over the years that eventually led to his expansion into wholesale distribution. Eventually the company, which was called Otto and Sons, struck up a partnership with McDonald’s restaurants as that chain was expanding in the midwest. That relationship continues to date and eventually OSI would become one of a select few food suppliers to the restaurant giant.
The company would even open a facility in 1973 dedicated solely to the production of food for McDonald’s. The 70s also saw the arrival of the man who would be the driving force behind OSI Group’s global expansion. Sheldon Lavin was originally hired by Otto and Sons to help with financing for North American expansion plans and he made such an impression on Otto Kolschowsky’s sons, who by then were running the business, that he was brougth in as a partner.
1975 saw the beginning of the rebranding as OSI Group and Sheldon eventually became the sole controller of the company, taking on the roles of CEO and Chairman. As the company expanded globally over the next decades another major piece of the puzzle came in with the arrival of future OSI President David McDonald in 1987. David has remained a driving force behind OSI’s growth as he moved up the company’s executive ranks. Today, the company is still growing and expanding operations and David McDonald remains a major part of this growth.
Part of these recent expansions that David McDonald has played a major role in include growth in OSI Group’s European, Chinese and Australian markets. In Europe, OSI recently gained the controlling stakes in two major food distrbutors. Dutch food distrubutors Baho Food is a company with an extensive reach across continental Europe and is a perfect fit for OSI’s goals regarding that market. British food distrubutor Flagship Europe is an equally perfect fit for OSI’s expansion plans in the U.K. market. OSI has also rebranded the firm under the name Creative Foods Europe. David McDonald was also highly excited about the recent addition of a tenth processing facility in China and the OSI purchase of Australian food distributor Turi Foods. All of these companies are great fits for the OSI Group business model and are sure to add great value to the OSI name.
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