Sheldon Lavin is a businessman who studied finance while in college. He decided early on that he wanted to build a company in the food industry so that he could contribute to what people eat on a daily basis. He started out as a financial consultant where he helped companies in the food industry getting funding in order to effectively compete. He says he was nervous when he first started out, unsure of his abilities, but once he started finding success he became much more confident.
He says the “big break” for him occurred when a company, Otto & Sons, signed a contract with him. Sheldon Lavin says that this was a small food company that needed to raise capital in order to expand their operations. He saw a lot of potential in this company and his suspicions were proven right when Otto & Sons went from being a business operating just in Illinois to being one selling food to clients across the United States.
Sheldon Lavin played a big role in Otto & Sons national expansion. The owners of this company were so impressed by business skills that they asked if he would like to become a partner of it. He accepted the offer and started fulfilling his dream of running a food company when he was installed as the chairman of the board and chief executive officer. His company, now called OSI Group, is now international in scope with operations throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and in the country of South Africa.
In addition to growing OSI Group into an international firm Sheldon Lavin has also greatly expanded the number of customers it has as well as the types of food this company sells. When he started out this company’s main customer was McDonald’s. They now provide the food that is sold in many other restaurants around the world such as Starbucks, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks. Similarly, in the 1970s OSI Group just processed beef. They now process pork, seafood, poultry, fruits, and vegetables. They also create value-added food products such as pizzas, calzones, crepes, and burritos.