There was a time when Smithsburg Market was just another mom and pop grocery store — nothing special because there were so many more just like it.
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Now, those stores mostly exist in memories.
That's what makes this small business on South Main Street special. It has with- stood the test of time.
It was about 30 years ago when the store opened its doors to customers.
Since then, it has found a new location on the opposite side of the street It also has had several owners and more competition for the dollar.
But through all the transitions, Smithsburg Market has continued to serve the community and adjust to change.
Change was what John and Bonnie Renard were looking for six years ago, when they and the past proprietor were brought together by a mutual accountant.
"We were looking for a restaurant," Bonnie Renard said. "And this was the closest to a restaurant we could find in this area. The owner was looking to sell, we were looking to buy, so it worked out."
Renard said most of the store's customers are local and have been shopping at the market for years.
"Many of the customers don't drive or don't want to drive," she said. "We have a lot of people who walk to the store every day."
Renard said the market also is attractive to senior citizens "who are more comfortable with this size of store. Some of today's supermarkets are so big, older people have trouble walking from one end to the other."
From the moment the couple took over the store, Renard said their goal was to try to provide reasonably priced food items that met the needs of their customers.
"We take requests but we don't sing," she joked. "We're so small, we can't carry everything. There's just not enough room. But we do our best to stock our store with what people want."
Shelves are lined with typical grocery items — cans of soups and vegetables and boxes of cereals and cake mix.
Fresh produce, dairy products and meats also are available.
But the bulk of their business, Renard said, comes from their deli and prepared meals.
"Just in the six years we've been here, times have changed," she said. "Consumers' needs are different. They shop by the meal, not by the week In many families, both spouses work and having the time to cook has gone by the wayside."
Customers can order subs and sandwiches or take advantage of a small salad bar.