We don’t often use people on our covers… it’s just not what we do here at Arizona Highways. However, our June hiking issue is typically the exception… After all, what better way to showcase our amazing Summer Hiking Guide than by showing someone out on the trails. This month, our friend Stacey Barnes graced the cover, which was shot by Arizona Highways contributing photographer, Paul Markow.
Below, we talked to Stacey about life as an Arizona Highways cover model, her day job — she’s the co-owner of GoodyTwos Toffee Company in Scottsdale — and the nickname she earned courtesy of the Arizona Highways crew.
What is it like working with Arizona Highways photographer Paul Markow on the cover? Working with Paul Markow to shoot the cover of Arizona Highways was pretty surreal! Paul and I go way back… I was 17 when I did my first photo shoot with Paul. I have been working in the fashion industry for over 15 years, so Paul and I have worked together on a lot of catalog and advertising shoots, but not one hiking shoot! So, what was cool about this photo shoot was that it involved my favorite activity (hiking) in my favorite state (Arizona) with my favorite photographer (Paul Markow) and for one of my favorite magazines, (Arizona Highways).
Jeff Kida, Arizona Highways’ photo editor, was also along for the photo shoot… Watching Jeff and Paul working together was great and entertaining… those two together just added to the excitement of the day! All and all, I was so grateful for the opportunity to do what I love doing and it made for an unforgettable, adventurous day!
You’ve done a lot of modeling in the past and Paul was the photographer… how was it working with him again?
Amazing! Paul always makes any shoot fun and exciting! Not to mention he is my mentor… I truly look up to him (well, he is 6’7” — he’s known at Goodytwos as “Tall Paul”). He gives me great business advice, has taught me some valuable life lessons and is a super cool guy.
You’ve said that hiking is one of your favorite activities… any favorite trails?
Hiking is definitly my favorite activity — how lucky are we here in Arizona to have so many different areas of the state to hike in? We have classic Camelback Mountain, which I have hiked since I was 6 years old. But I really like to get out of Phoenix for a change in scenery. Favorite hike? That’s a tough one… I have so many! So let me condense it down to two:
Devil’s bridge. You have to hike out to the bridge itself, but once you get there it’s spectacular! The bridge is made from the red Sedona rock that was etched away by erosion leaving a sight to be seen — also you have an incredible view of the mountains around you!
Mount Baldly. Let me just say that the White Mountains have some pristine vegetation! Some of the land is owned by the Apache Reservation, so it is very well preserved and some areas look almost untouched! The landscape is completely different from all of Arizona. The forest is thick with pine and aspen trees, and offers numerous beautiful natural lakes and rivers that are great for fishing and yes, hiking!
Besides posing on our cover, you also make yummy toffee… tell me a bit about that gig?
My mom and I started our own business making English toffee almost seven years ago. We took our decades-old family toffee recipe and started selling it at local farmers markets. The business started to grow to the point where we needed a larger commercial kitchen… at that point, we decided to incorporate a retail store, too. We opened our first store in 2009 and it was when my mom and I were busy in production, hand crafting our toffees in small batches, that we decided to get creative with our toffee flavors! We now make eight different toffee flavors from our Traditional Toffee — still our top-seller — to our Sweet & Salty Toffee, which is coated with Dark chocolate and kissed with sea salt, to our very adventurous Nutty Twist Toffee, which is made with local Cruz tequila, macadamia nuts, key lime, white chocolate and dark chocolate.
We also incorporate our toffee in different ways like in our Toffee Corn and in our Twozels (which I think is an Arizona Highways favorite). In 2011, we relocated to a much larger and sweeter space due to our growth and high demand. Though we continue to grow and evolve, one thing will never change — we still put a lot of vitamin L-O-V-E in our toffee to make sure there is plenty of sweet goodness in every bite! We offer generous samplings of all of our goodies at our shop in Scottsdale and encourage people to come in and try our toffees for themselves. When I am not out exploring Arizona, I am busy at Goodytwos, and I welcome everyone to stop by for some goodies and sampling… and while you’re here, ask me for suggestions on hiking trails in Arizona!
You’re obviously an Arizona girl … what do you love about the state and why should folks come out and visit?
Well, I am originally from Iowa, but have lived in Arizona for a number of years now and I can say that Arizona is my home and one that I love! I am very outdoorsy, so the fact that we have our vast Sonoran desert, the red rocks of Sedona, the Grand Canyon, our dense forests in Flagstaff, the Rim country and Greer…. We have it all! Not to mention Arizona’s history… Arizona Highways has done such a great job of telling Arizona’s story from past to present. My favorite Arizona Highways issue was the Centennial issue (February 2012) — the photography was remarkable and includes some memorable photos taken by Robert Markow, Paul’s father. There is plenty to do here in Arizona from sightseeing to hiking, shopping, golfing and yes, even snowboarding! Who would think that in the winter when it’s 80 degrees in the desert, you can drive a few hours away and find snow — but you can! Also I’m a bit of a dare devil and we have a great place to skydive just outside of Tucson!
Rumor has it, you’ve been christened “Silky” by some members of the Arizona Highways staff… how do you feel about that, Silky, er, um Stacey?
Hmmm…. Took me a while to figure out where “Silky” came from! Doesn’t bother me at all. I think it’s funny, and to have a nickname from the über cool team at Arizona Highways, well, what more can a girl ask for? Love it!!! xo-Silky
Information: GoodyTwos is located at 6990 E. Shea Blvd. suite #116 & #117 Scottsdale, AZ 85254; 480-575-0737 or 480-282-3815