Arrowtree

Katie Correa owns and operates Arrowtree Homestead with her husband. The business combines bicycle repair with farm life.

 

Farm fresh and tuned up, Hillsborough is now home to Arrowtree Homestead — a farmers market and bike repair shop. North Carolina newcomers Katie Correa and her family of six transplanted their lives to Hillsborough in 2019, purchasing a dreamy three acres of woods and farmland. The homestead has quickly grown into a venture of animals, gardens, and bikes. 

“I’ve been a bike mechanic for a long time,” Correa said. “I went to a training school called Barnett Bicycle Institute ages ago and was trained professionally.” 

Getting her start at Shirks Bike Shop in East Earl, Pennsylvania, Correa was introduced to the world of bike repair in tandem with farm life. 

“I got a job replacing an amazing Amish mechanic named Ana, and I had no experience whatsoever. They took me on, and I started fixing their ‘donate bikes’ sent to Africa. I had to make one gear and one brake work. From there, I was allowed to build bikes. When I wasn’t working on bikes, I was scooping poop out of the driveway or feeding their cow the leftover cardboard.” 

Correa eventually pursued a teaching career, leaving behind the bike shop life, or so she thought. 

“I was living in Pakistan, in the Himalayan Mountains, teaching English, and there was this need for trikes to be given to [families with kids with disabilities]. This woman approached me and asked, ‘can you design a trike for kids to get to school, so their parents can maneuver on the mountain roads?’” 

Correa was soon building adaptive tricycle transportation for the local village families. 

While in Pakistan, Correa met her husband, Gaby, a Puerto Rico native, through online dating. Tying the knot after a year of long-distance, the Correa’s decided to move state-side and began their North Carolina adventures. As their family grew, the Correa’s looked for a bit of tranquility and space, finding an ideal location on the outskirts of Hillsborough.

“Then COVID happened, and I thought, ‘what am I going to do? I am home with my four kids, she said.’” 

Correa found herself homeschooling her kids, developing an agribusiness, and once again helping her fellow bikers. 

“People started wanting to ride more, and I was asked, ‘hey can you fix my bike?’ And I was like, ‘yeah, I can do that!’ I’ve got the training and tools [to fix the bikes], why not add that on to eggs and whatever else we have going on in our garden.” 

Arrowtree Homestead now serves as a one-stop shop for biking and farm-fresh produce. Without the average overhead of a repair shop, Correa is proud to offer affordable rates for repairs while continuing to expand the farm and services.

“Right now, we deliver eggs to our customers, which is a lot of fun. We are going to plow out a huge portion of land that’s already cleared from trees and put in a bigger garden. I have slaughtered a few chickens, and we do have turkeys that are being grown for Thanksgiving.” 

Educational courses have also made their way onto the homestead. Beekeeping, sustainable practices, and Farm Camp are educational opportunities that Correa hopes to evolve in the future. 

“COVID brought the best out of us, all by accident.”