Out of the “City of Lights” comes a bright beacon in global food distribution; that aurora is the OSI Group, a premier global food provider with over 65 facilities in 17 countries worldwide.
With solutions that are concept-to-table innovations, OSI Group partners with top foodservice companies and retail food brands. OSI Group’s success is found in their customer’s success. Expansion for OSI is not only coming through in the form of more plants (seven new facilities built in 2016), but also though helping its clients improve on their ROI through a wider offering, ranging from affordable food offerings to natural and organic foods that seem to be in a growing demand. But through this growth, “healthy and tasty” is always an ingredient from which the OSI Group never deviates.
If not familiar with the Chicago area, the “City of Lights” is the city of Aurora about 30 minutes straight west of Chicago where OSI is headquartered. And the star that lights everything up is CEO Sheldon Lavin. OSI’s history dates back to 1909 when Otto Kolschowsky opened a family meat market in a near-west Chicago suburb. Eventually the sons would get involved and in the 1950’s a small hamburger place in nearby Des Plaines forged a relationship with Otto and his sons that would catapult its meat processing business; that hamburger place – McDonalds.
As a financial consultant, Lavin got to know Otto and his sons (the “O” and “S” of OSI). This relationship would eventually lead to his ownership of OSI Group. With an entrepreneurial spirit and a business mind, Lavin married these characteristics to the food distribution industry in the formation of the OSI group. And what started out as a family business has in a sense remained that way through an expansion that has added over 20,000 employees.
The key has been to lead from the top, encouraging the local facilities to run their business aligned to their markets. Thus each facility in a sense is ran like a local family business, albeit an extended family from Aurora. It is this type of innovation and foresight that has made OSI a premier company in the global marketplace and will allow it to do so in the years to come.