On the surface, East 4th Street may not inspire thoughts of fresh eggs, fruits, and vegetables, but for decades, the brick building at 575 E. 4th Street played an important role in getting produce straight from farms to local tables. It was constructed in 1933 as a new warehouse for the Triangle Produce Company of Sacramento, distributors of wholesale produce and, after the repeal of Prohibition, wine and beer.
The company had bought the Reno Produce Company in 1932, and retained the same manager, Chick Serpentino. They supplied local restaurants and markets with everything from grapes to cases of Budweiser.
In 1940, the building was remodeled to house the newly-formed Farmers Exchange, established by Roger Teglia. For ten years prior, Teglia had run a local co-op, Nevada Poultry, which bought, stored, and distributed eggs, chickens, and turkeys for local producers. The new Farmer’s Exchange competed for local farmers’ business by offering higher prices for their products.
The Farmers Exchange also became the local agent for the War Food Administration, requisitioning and distributing surplus eggs, butter, and other products needed by the armed forces. They handled Birdseye frozen products, too.
In 1971, a new poultry processing plant called Superior Food Distributors opened, replacing the Farmers Exchange, which then closed. Since that time, the building has housed a variety of businesses. Today it serves as the Thrift Depot, operated by the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission.