Filed Under Food

Farmers Exchange

A longtime distribution point for farm products, constructed in 1933 for the Triangle Produce Company

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

Thrift Depot
Thrift Depot In 2014, the Farmers Exchange building served as a Thrift Depot for the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission. Creator: Alicia Barber Date: 2014
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. Source: Reno Evening Gazette Date: December 14, 1934
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. Source: Reno Evening Gazette Date: June 19, 1935
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. Creator: Alicia Barber Date: 2014
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. Source: Reno Evening Gazette Date: January 17, 1941
Thrift Depot
Thrift Depot Narrow at the front, the building still features a loading dock on its east side. Creator: Alicia Barber Date: 2014

Location

575 East 4th Street, Reno, NV

Metadata

Alicia Barber, “Farmers Exchange,” Reno Historical, accessed June 14, 2024, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/87.