January 19, 2022

Farmstead Bike Shop Welcomes Phil Bowen

Farmstead Bike Shop in Northfield, MN is excited to announce the hiring of longtime MN xc ski racer-turned retail enthusiast Phil Bowen to lead their expansion into cross country ski service, sales, and community engagement. Farmstead, a successful South Minneapolis neighborhood bike shop, added their location in downtown Northfield in March 2021 and will move into a larger space down the block in March 2022 where they will expand their offerings of e-bikes, gravel, commuter, and mountain bikes. The new xc ski shop will be complemented by paddle sports sales and rentals as well as a cafe with espresso drinks, crepes, and local tap beer and cider.

Bowen grew up ski racing in Grand Marais, continued on the NCAA circuit at Carleton College in Northfield, and trained full time for six years with Olympic aspirations before settling down to become a serial xc ski retailer, working four years at Gear West and five years at Boulder Nordic Sport’s Bloomington, MN location before moving to Northfield. “You know what I always say, procrastinate until something falls in your lap,” said Bowen over a four-shot latte, “and boy did the Farmstead opportunity fall in my lap. Owners Greg and Bri have such a genuine, helpful way about them that makes customers feel comfortable immediately. Their focus on getting to know the customer and listening to their experiences to help them make informed choices really matches up with why I enjoy spending time working in a ski shop,” he added. “At the end of the day we are just trying to help people have fun on bikes or skis, no matter who they are or what they are looking for. Whether it’s putting air in your 77 Schwinn Varsity, waxing up the old three-pin binding skis you found in your parent’s garage, or sending you out the door to gravel ride to Red Wing on a new titanium frame or ski the Birkie with expert wax service on your carbon fiber skis…we love it all and have that experience across the spectrum.”

Co-owner Greg Neis on bringing Phil onto the Farmstead Team: "Bri and and I are thrilled to have a powerhouse pro like Phil on our team as we add the nordic layer to our business. His top-level racing experience and technical expertise rounds out our recreational and club racing experience beautifully. And he truly understands the ethic we strive for here, which is to bring more skiers to the sport and to understand and support our customers' goals as they progress. Skiing is a lifetime sport and we work to support skiers at every stage. As important, Phil is a community-builder, as demonstrated in his ability to advise and coach folks up in the sport at every level. That's what it's all about for us. That's why we open the doors every morning."

For this winter 21-22, Farmstead in Northfield has a selection of glide and kick waxes available from Start, Rex, Rode, Holmenkol, and Guru. Come in and learn how easy it is to use the new generation of liquid glide waxes or get tips to help make your hot waxing applications more effective. Not interested in DIY? We have you covered with same- or next-day wax service to get you ready for the weekend. We have hot box saturation to get new skis ready for the season and have partnered with Gear West Stonegrinder Dave Chamberlain to get your new skis ready for MN conditions or renew your tired skis and make them go like new again. Skis can be dropped off and picked up at Farmstead’s Minneapolis location for wax service as well.

As the sign outside the front door says, “Ask us about skis!” We love to chat and would be honored to help get you and your family on snow. “My favorite days at the shop are when a customer comes in expecting a big-box, opaque buying experience and I can literally see their shoulders relax and excitement rise when they realize that for us gadgets and gear are secondary to them having a good experience at the shop,” says Bowen “and that our success isn’t measured by what they purchase but whether they gain some interest in skiing, and whether they tell their friends about this great new ski shop in town. Northfield is a great community for a venue like this and I’m really excited to meet more of our local skiers.”