After immigrating from Collodi, Italy in 1920, Pietro Dante Pizza began working at the old San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market near the corner of Davis and Washington Sts. in what is now the Financial District of San Francisco. In 1931, working out of the back of a horse-drawn cart, Dante opened his own wholesale produce business and named it Washington Vegetable Company. Dante’s three sons, John, Louis, and Renato worked at the family business first while in school, working during the school year (before school) and then full time after returning from their service in WWII. In 1961, The Golden Gateway Redevelopment Project was approved and the tenants of the old Wholesale Produce Market were moved to a new San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market (SFWPM) on Jerrold Avenue in the Bayview area of San Francisco. Washington Vegetable Company is the only original tenant still located at that facility.
After Louis and Renato retired, John became the sole owner of Washington Vegetable Company. In 2003, John retired and his son Jack took over as owner and president. Jack gained familiarity with the company and the market starting in high school, when he would work summers and occasionally before school. In 1994, after working as an attorney for 12 years Jack returned to Washington Vegetable Company.
With over 85 years of continuous service, Washington Vegetable is the oldest wholesale produce business in the City & County of San Francisco.