Meet the Head Chef & Founder

Vanessa Ceballos

A Venezuelan at heart, Vanessa came to New York in 2011 with dreams of opening up a restaurant.

She began working in the restaurant industry when she first got to the states, first through waitressing. Then in 2016, she had the opportunity to open up her very first place, initially located in Maspeth (the business is still open and operating).

In 2018, after a year of leaving her initial business, she opened Firefly NY. Firefly got its moniker from the idea that as humans, we all have our own light, and once our light comes on, we are beautiful and limitless. Vanessa felt that the opportunity to open Firefly came in the form of an opportunity when she wasn't particularly looking. But she believed that this opportunity came as a second chance to really make her goals and dreams come true. As she felt she was in the dark before this, the opportunity presented itself in the dark as a light, like a firefly glowing up.

Now, almost 3 years after opening Firefly, Vanessa is dreaming of bigger things to come! Not just for her, but also for her family, who helps run the business daily.

Mimi is such a big part of the restaurant experience. Everyone looks forward to seeing Mimi at the restaurant -- she is part of the team, she has her own tip jar and stamps things on the bag. She is already an expert in customer service! People in the neighborhood know that she is the daughter of the owner. (She feels famous in Sunnyside, as it’s a small neighborhood and people recognize her at the market or elsewhere outside of the restaurant).

Firefly is truly a family run business. She can spend time with her family here and Vanessa feels she can truly set a good example for Mimi, showing her that anything is possible with hard work. Her whole family (parents included) serves the community in all ways and she is so pleased and happy to contribute to a wonderful community here in Sunnyside.