The OSI Group has its headquarters in Aurora, Illinois, not far from the Chicago Union Stockyards, which was the world’s largest stockyard for decades. This privately held company was founded by a German immigrant, Otto Kolschowsky. The location for the OSI Group was ideal as Chicago was a railroad hub and became the center for meat packing in the United States of America.
But what lead to the company’s greatest success was a chance meeting between Ray Croc and an heir to the Kolschowsky meat processing business. Ray Croc was a salesman who had an idea, a great idea, about opening a string of fast food restaurants. Croc had seen how automation was making food preparation easier and faster but knew that any food business had to start with quality products, and Kolschowsky meats were rated as excellent. It started with a handshake in 1955, and the rest is history. Croc named his fast food restaurants McDonalds.
With the advent of liquid nitrogen freezing, McDonalds needed only four meat suppliers, and the Kolschowsky factory became one of the four.
OSI Group has plants in the United States of America in Chicago, Geneva, and West Chicago in Illinois. Other locations include Oakland, Iowa, West Jordan, Utah, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, and Riverside, California.
The OSI Group has more than 60 facilities in 16 countries throughout the world; these locations are in North America, Western and Eastern Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.
The OSI Group’s products include bacon, meat patties, hot dogs, pizza, fish, and poultry. The company has been a supplier to Western fast food chains in China including Subway, Starbucks, Papa John’s Pizza, and Pizza Hut.
OSI Group has received numerous awards and is listed in the Forbes registry in 2016 as the number 58 on the list of largest private companies with revenues of more than $6 billion.
It is truly amazing how a chance meeting can influence the success of a person or a company. Ray Croc and Otto Kolschowsky were men of different eras, but both were dedicated to offering the finest products or service. It was meat products in the case of Wolschowsky, and it was the revolutionary fast food experience which was the idea that Croc developed that created one of the best-known world brands, McDonalds. Many people come into contact with important, influential people without realizing it.
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