Under current president Kenneth Kohn’s leadership City Foods now totals more than $34 million in yearly sales and continues to grow, its union employees now producing approximately 500,000 pounds a week of fresh, top quality products sold at retailers and wholesalers all over the country as well as in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Central and South America and the Middle East.
A History of Growth
Eugene L. Kohn founded City Foods, Inc. in 1939, after working for his uncle in a small beef slaughtering operation during the depression. He began by delivering 100 lb. barrels of shortening in a used truck he bought for $300.
After serving in World War II in China, Eugene began servicing restaurants out of his truck with a limited line of meat items. His brother Rudy soon joined him. In the mid 1950's they bought an old fashioned butcher shop with sawdust on the floors, and turned it into a small distribution and manufacturing factory.
Working 12 to 14 hours a day, the brothers cut loins, strips and chucks by themselves. They also distributed other meats to service a growing list of restaurants and other meat wholesalers. In 1965 City Foods built a new processing plant/headquarters at 4230 South Racine Avenue in Chicago, where we continue to grow today. We brought in forequarters and hindquarters on rails, and boned them out with a small crew of 8 - 10 workers. City Foods became federally inspected in 1968 and decided to concentrate on our forte, boning out large quantities of navels.
City Foods was building steady volume when in 1980 Eugene's son Kenneth Kohn joined the company. Soon after, we expanded operations buying the building next door, and constructing an addition joining them. This allowed us to more than double our meat output.
In 1985, Nathan Levine, a former owner of a New York corned beef and pastrami business, joined City Foods. He launched us into the business of manufacturing Bea's Best raw corned beef. Sales took off with the help of Kenneth Kohn, now sales manager.
In 1990, aware of the demand for quality pre-cooked deli items, City Foods expanded for the fifth time, adding a corning and cooking processing and packing room. This addition allowed us to naturally hickory smoke beef bacon and briskets, and cook roast beef, corned beef, pastrami, prime rib, and our new Turkey Pastrami, as well as slice and package these favorites to customer specifications.
2006 was the end of an era, when our founder Eugene Kohn passed away. Kenneth Kohn now carries on the City Foods tradition of quality and innovation in the capacity of company President.