In small towns, businesses sometimes come and go. Times change, people move. It’s a special thing when a business can set up shop and serve a community and its people for generations, which is why we are happy to announce that, after thirty-seven years of faithfully serving our community, Bonita Smith of J&B Real Estate is stepping down as owner/broker and passing the reigns into the very qualified hands of long-time local agent, Cindy Grimes.

J&B opened its doors in 1981, when Jim and Bonita Smith, who both had their real estate licenses in Howard County, moved back to their hometown of Thurmont. Bonita Feeser and Jim Smith, of the Hillside Turkey Farm Smiths, met in school and graduated from Thurmont High School. Noticing a lack of real estate options in the area, they decided to move back home. Now, after running a successful business for decades, Bonita, though not retiring, intends to free up some time for gardening, traveling, and taking care of her chickens.

You might recognize Cindy Grimes as a familiar face around the area. Cindy started as a salesperson with J&B in December of 2006, received her Associate Broker license in April 2017, and became a broker in December of 2017. This allowed the transition to be finalized, and Cindy took ownership on January 1, 2018. Bonita will continue to be a presence around the office, assuming the role of associate broker.

Having been a part of the industry and the area for so many years, Cindy has great respect for both the community and the people in it. She knows how valuable it is to build and maintain an honest, hardworking reputation as a local business, and is grateful to have had the opportunity to do so.

About the transition, she said, “Without the extraordinary support of the community, my family and friends, I would not be where I am today. I am so thankful for all of my clients—past, present, and future. Referrals are a large part of my business and that means the world to me. I look forward to continuing the standard of service everyone has come to expect from J&B Real Estate.”

Despite being a small-town agent, Cindy sold 15.2 million in real estate in 2017. That is an impressive total, especially when looking at it from the perspective that she is serving clients who live in, or are moving to, small towns or rural areas. She works hard for her clients. “I am vested in my clients and care about their real estate experience. I want to make sure they enjoy a smooth transaction.”

Regarding the future of the business, Cindy is optimistic. Currently, J&B is licensed in both Maryland and Pennsylvania, with six agents in the office. Cindy plans to expand the team, both by bringing in new agents, as well as growing the area in which they do business.

Cindy shared that there are some pending changes within the profession that will streamline things for realtors in the future. This will carry through to clients being more informed and enjoying an even easier real estate buying or selling experience. By staying in touch with modern trends, training, and information, Cindy hopes to make J&B an attractive option for realtors looking to grow and develop their own careers.

For more information about J&B or to contact them, visit their offices at 13 ½ Water Street in Thurmont, call 301-271-3487 x 24 or 301-788-5354, or visit

J&B Real Estate has been a long-standing advertiser in The Catoctin Banner. We greatly appreciate their support.

Cindy Grimes and Bonita Smith of J&B Real Estate.

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