Niall Campbell

Chef Niall Campbell - Feature Photo

“To the entire Boos team, thank you! Thank you for helping us to create our modern roadhouse oasis, it is a living testimonial to the quality and craftsmanship that John Boos and Co. has to offer. Kristie and I couldn’t be happier with everything from the tables to the beautiful expedition counter top. The stainless in the kitchen is sleek and functional and your cutting boards are the finest in the world. We look forward to collaborating again on our next project.”


Niall grew up in Maine on a small dairy farm. No stranger to hard work, Niall was a natural in the kitchen. His ambitious nature led him out of the house at the young age of 16, washing dishes to pay the bills and saving money to travel the world. “Money was tight when I was growing up; I grew up on a farm before moving out on my own at 16. I was home alone a lot as a kid & experimented with what little we had in the kitchen, that’s where I got the bug. But when I got the dishwasher job, I got fed and I got a paycheck, it was a necessity.”

Niall started his travels in Salt Lake City and made his way up the coast learning as he went. Eventually he decided to work a salmon season in Alaska, he said the experience made for good stories but that he never needed to repeat it.

At the time he met his wife Kristie, Niall was in Puerto Rico helping mutual friends, Rick and Honor, open their new restaurant, the Blue Macaw. Together, Kristie and Niall embraced this challenging yet wonderful experience of getting a restaurant off the ground.

The pair stayed in Puerto Rico for a few years before deciding to get married and return to the mainland. Niall had taken a job at Bradley Ogden’s Lark Creek Inn outside of San Francisco. On the way to California, they stopped in Effingham to get Kristie’s things out of storage and they commented on how Effingham could benefit from a restaurant like the one they wanted to create someday.

Niall and Kristie moved everything they owned in the world to San Francisco, planning to live there indefinitely. After 5 months, they received an email from an Effingham developer, Jack Schultz, who had heard through the grapevine that Kristie was marrying a chef and that someday they wanted to open a restaurant. That “someday” turned out to be that day.

Jack loved their ideas and Niall loved the land. Niall insisted on an onsite garden if they were going to open a restaurant in Effingham.

With the help of their incredible community, Jack and his team at Agracel, some radical investors, a visionary at Newton State Bank, an incredible architect, Cass Calder Smith, Kristie and Niall’s dream, Firefly was born.

They wanted to create a space that would be like coming into their own home. The kitchen is the heart of the Campbell house, which is why they created an exhibition kitchen so that their customers could see all of the love and hard work that goes into the dishes firsthand. Nothing but love goes into the farm. Absolutely no pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers are used.

Food they can’t grow themselves is sourced locally whenever possible by using sustainable fisheries, artisan farmers, and foragers. The firefly philosophy on food is: keep it simple, source the best ingredients possible, and stay out of their way.

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