Farmers Exchange

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.

Images

Triangle Produce ad

Triangle Produce ad

Along with produce, the Triangle Produce Company distributed wine and beer, as seen in this newspaper ad from 1934. Image courtesy of Reno Evening Gazette View File Details Page

Budweiser distributor, 1935

Budweiser distributor, 1935

The Triangle Produce Company served as distributors for Budweiser beer, promoted as a healthful and even slimming beverage in this 1935 newspaper advertisement. Image courtesy of Reno Evening Gazette View File Details Page

Vintage sign

Vintage sign

A portion of a sign on what was once the outside wall of the Triangle Produce Company can now be viewed from the inside of the neighboring building at 559 E. 4th Street, which was walled in several years after the produce company's building was constructed. The brief period during which the sign was exposed to the open air accounts for the remarkable condition of the paint. Photo by Alicia Barber View File Details Page

Farmers Exchange opening

Farmers Exchange opening

A 1941 ad announcing the opening of the Farmers Exchange depicts the process of purchasing large quantities of eggs from local producers. Image courtesy of Reno Evening Gazette View File Details Page

Thrift Depot, 2014

Thrift Depot, 2014

Today, the Farmers Exchange building serves as a Thrift Depot for the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission. Photo by Alicia Barber View File Details Page

Thrift Depot, 2014

Thrift Depot, 2014

Narrow at the front, the building still features a loading dock on its east side. Photo by Alicia Barber View File Details Page

Street Address:

575 East 4th Street, Reno, NV [map]

Cite this Page:

Alicia Barber, “Farmers Exchange,” Reno Historical, accessed April 24, 2017, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/87.
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