Together, Building Better
The Ozinga story is an American story—it’s based on hard work and determination; full of adventure, risk and reward; and demonstrates our ability to overcome adversity to build something better.
Established in 1928 in Evergreen Park, Illinois, as a small coal and coke yard, Ozinga survived the Great Depression and World War II before becoming one of the first ready mix providers in the region. For four generations, we have continuously expanded our product and service offerings to faithfully meet the needs of builders throughout Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, and South Florida while holding to our longstanding commitment to provide it all at a fair price.
Today we provide concrete, bulk materials, and energy solutions while offering transportation services through an extensive network of truck, rail, barge, and ship terminals. Perhaps best recognized for our red and white striped concrete mixer trucks, Ozinga is proud to be an American-owned, fourth-generation family business serving the communities where we live, work and play. As our story continues, we will use our principles to build a better future for our coworkers, communities, customers, and country, and make the world better because we were all here working together.
The Ozinga family leaves their native homeland, the Netherlands, to come to the United States of America in search of a better life. They settle on the southwest side of Chicago in the small village of Evergreen Park. Martin Ozinga, one of five children, is a young boy when his family makes the voyage to America.
Martin begins his professional career as a law enforcement officer with the Cook County Sheriff's Department, where he is eventually appointed Chief of Police in Evergreen Park in the 1920s. Disillusioned by the blurred lines between the law and the lawbreakers, Martin eventually retires from the police force.
Martin Ozinga Sr. and Bill Conrad, a local businessman, establish Conrad & Ozinga Coal & Coke Company in Evergreen Park, Illinois, at 3131 West 95th Street.
Martin Sr. and Bill Conrad upgrade their horse & wagon operation by purchasing their first truck, an International, for coal deliveries.
Martin Ozinga Sr. buys out Bill Conrad's share of the business to become the sole owner of Martin Ozinga Coal & Coke Co.
Hard economic times during the Great Depression affect many lives and businesses throughout the United States. Martin Ozinga Sr. is nearly forced to abandon the coal yard. Thanks to two mortgages and generous support from family (namely Martin's mother-in-law) the business is able to continue serving the people of Evergreen Park.
The original yard office, located at 95th & Troy St. in Evergreen Park, is replaced with a new, larger brick building.
January 1, 1942
Martin Sr. transfers the business to his sons, Martin Jr., Richard, and Norman. The business is renamed Ozinga Bros. Coal & Building Materials.
The coal yard closes operations as Martin Jr., Richard, and Norman all enlist to serve their country with the onset of World War II.
The three Ozinga boys return home after completing their military service. The coal yard, after lying dormant for more than three years, is cleaned and restored. Only two of the original four trucks can be salvaged. With the business reopened, fuel oil bulk tanks are added and the truck color scheme is changed from maroon to the iconic red & white stripes.
The fleet of trucks continues to grow (now more than a dozen trucks). Much to the chagrin of Martin Sr., the brothers expand their services to focus on supplying building materials and fuel oil as the demand for coal begins to decline.
Ozinga begins producing ready mix concrete and thereafter it becomes Ozinga's exclusive product. Responding to rapid population growth in the southwest suburbs, a plant is opened in Alsip, Illinois.
2-way radios are introduced to the company as the means of communication with the fleet. The company name is changed to an incorporated partnership, Ozinga Bros., Inc.
On December 9, Martin Ozinga Sr., then president of 1st National Bank of Evergreen Park, passes away. Martin Ozinga Jr. is appointed President & CEO of the bank.
Ozinga Bros. headquarters are relocated to 3837 127th Street in Alsip. The company now begins operations from multiple locations.
The marquee sign (a local landmark) and candy stripe trucks soon become icons of Ozinga Bros. and Chicago's Southwest Side. Ozinga is identified not only for its catchy quotations but more importantly for quality concrete and reliable, trustworthy service. The foundation of Ozinga's success remains a solid belief in God and a commitment to serve His creation: the customers, the employees, and the community at large.
Norman Ozinga, desiring to step back from his responsibilities in the family business, sells his share to his brothers, Martin Jr. and Richard.
The area ready mix concrete businesses are predominately family-owned companies. Ozinga Bros. begins buying these companies, upgrading facilities and operating the purchased plants. Retaining the employees of the original plants preserves the family atmosphere of the company and contributes to Ozinga's success by making use of the skills and experience of valuable workers.
Ozinga expands their operations into Northwest Indiana with the purchase of the Griffith Ready Mix Company.
Property is purchased and a plant is built in Mokena, IL. Located just off I-80 at LaGrange Road, this location later becomes the headquarters for the Ozinga Illinois operation.
Martin Jr. & Richard retire, ushering in the leadership of the third generation of Ozingas. Martin III is appointed president, while Richard's sons, Rich and Jim, become Treasurer and Vice President of Ozinga Bros., Inc.
Plants are built in Lemont, Chicago Heights, and a handful of other locations throughout the Southwest suburbs and Northwest Indiana.
Beginning with the purchase of a plot of land (formerly the Diamond Crystal Salt Company) at the intersection of Stevenson & Dan Ryan Expressways, Ozinga breaks into the downtown Chicago market. The success of the 22nd Street facility results in the opening of two Chicago locations: 2001 North Mendell Street and East 103rd Street.
Ozinga supplies all the concrete for the construction of the new Comiskey Park (now Guaranteed Rate Field).
Working closely with the Oshkosh truck manufacturer, Ozinga management helps to develop and introduce the first front discharge mixer truck in Illinois.
With the introduction of front discharge trucks comes the introduction of a new Ozinga logo.
The legendary headquarters in Alsip, Illinois is closed. Ozinga Bros., Inc. is expanded and separated into three headquarters and surrounding communities. The company is restructured to Ozinga Illinois RMC, Inc. (Mokena, IL); Ozinga Indiana RMC, Inc. (Gary, IN); and Ozinga Chicago RMC, Inc. (Chicago, IL). Rich DeBoer, Don Rapley, and Tom Van Etten take leadership of the respective companies while Martin III, Rich & Jim act as the board of directors.
Ozinga builds a new corporate office at 2222 S Lumber Street, further solidifying their presence as one of Chicago's premier ready mix concrete businesses.
Ozinga provides the concrete for the complete renovation of the iconic Soldier Field in Chicago.
Ozinga Bros., Inc. celebrates its 75th anniversary. With a fleet of over 400 ready mix trucks and 1,000 employees, Ozinga has become one of the leading material supply companies of the Midwest. Ozinga reaffirms its commitment to provide customers with excellent quality, great service, and a fair price, while upholding the spiritual and philosophical convictions on which the company was founded.
Although Martin III, Rich & Jim still act as board of directors, the fourth generation of the Ozinga family enters the business. Martin Ozinga III's sons Marty IV, Karl, Justin, Aaron, Paul, and Tim, along with Richard Ozinga's son Jeff, usher in the next generation at Ozinga Ready Mix, Inc.
Through the acquisition of several locally owned ready mix companies, Ozinga is able to expand into Evanston, DeKalb, and Sycamore, Illinois. Upgrading these locations while retaining each plant's original workforce holds true to Ozinga's commitment to staying on the cutting edge of technology while maintaining the family atmosphere of the company. Ozinga is also able to open new locations in Alsip and Montgomery, IL, and at 64th & State in Chicago. Thanks to the addition of these new locations, Ozinga is now able to service nearly all of Chicagoland and its outlying suburbs.
Ozinga produces over 250,000 cubic yards of concrete for the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago-the largest project in company history.
Ozinga Materials, Inc. is formed to handle the company's bulk materials and transportation needs.
A new state-of-the-art dispatch center opens in Mokena, and Ozinga consolidates operations for the Illinois, Indiana, and Chicago divisions into one central location. The ready mix portion of the business is renamed Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete, Inc.
The largest single pour in Ozinga history is completed at the new BP coker in Whiting, Indiana. Just over 4,700 cubic yards are poured over a 12-hour period.
On June 12, Martin Ozinga Jr. passes away and is remembered as a leader whose integrity and character made him a role model for the entire business community.
A new location is opened in Des Plaines, Illinois, in the shadow of O'Hare International Airport. The plant expands Ozinga's service area into the northwest suburbs.
Ozinga rolls out its first concrete-mixing truck powered entirely on compressed natural gas (CNG), the first of its kind in Illinois. Ozinga pilots the new vehicle in an effort to reduce its reliance on petroleum consumption and help diminish the company's carbon footprint.
1st CNG station opens in Chicago
Ozinga unveils Chicago’s first privately owned natural gas fueling station designed for medium and heavy-duty fleets.
Ozinga partners with Transit-Mix Concrete LLC
Ozinga partners with local, family-owned concrete company, Transit-Mix Concrete of Indiana.
Ozinga Energy is formed and 2 new stations open in Mokena & Gary
Seeing potential in the growing adoption of natural gas, Ozinga Energy is formed and two new natural gas fueling stations are added in Mokena and Gary.
Ozinga introduces the 1st front discharge CNG concrete mixer to their fleet and grows into the largest CNG concrete mixer fleet in the nation.
Here To Stay (2012)
What started as a small coal yard in 1928 has grown into a premier supplier of concrete, materials, energy, and logistics solutions. Ozinga has never shied away from a challenge or a chance to innovate—and we don’t plan on starting anytime soon. But even as we continually shift gears and roll with whatever punches the market or the economy throws at us, there are a few things that remain constant: our dedication to serving the Creator, our commitment to treating our employees with care and respect, and our passion for serving our community to the best of our abilities.
Ozinga is proud to be a fourth generation family-operated company in America—and we’re here to stay.
75TH Anniversary Documentary (2003)
When you’ve been doing business in your community for more than nine decades, there are bound to be a few good stories to tell. Made in 2003 in celebration of Ozinga’s 75th year of giving customers our very best, this documentary takes a deeper look into the company’s past, present, and future, shedding light on the values that have guided us through both hard times and good times.