The co-owners of Campbell’s Dairyland, from left to right: Jay Paules, Jill Paules, Leesa Lee and James Lee.
On page 14 of our December 2002 FishHawk edition, the Osprey Observer published a story of Campbell’s Dairyland announcing its plan of returning after the fire it suffered on November 8, 2002.

On November 8, 2002, Campbell’s Dairyland, co-owned by Jay Paules, Jill Paules, Leesa Lee and James Lee, suffered fire damages totaling around $250,000, which the Osprey Observer covered in our December 2002 FishHawk edition. Jay was alerted of the fire at around 1 a.m. and rushed to his restaurant, but the damage was done.

It took eight months and eight days, but it came back as a missed part of the community. After learning of its return date, Campbell’s Dairyland entered a float in the Brandon Fourth of July parade to announce it and celebrate, receiving much support and cheers.

“I remember the very first customers that I got to take their order was a mother and two young children, a boy and a girl, … and the little boy was the younger of the two, and after I took their order, he looks at me very sincerely and says, ‘Thank you for opening back up!’ I ain’t going to lie, I shed a tear,” Jay said.

The family-owned restaurant specializes in sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers and of course ice cream and ice cream-related items, along with options like salads, battered veggies, seafood and over 30 milkshake flavors. Plus, it has indoor and outdoor sit-down dining, a drive-through and a small play area for kids outside.

It began as founder Boyd Campbell selling chili dogs at local events, using a five-generation-old family recipe for the chili. In 1985, he and his wife, Pam Campbell, bought an ice cream location, then named Dairy Isle, and began selling chili dogs alongside the ice cream. It became Campbell’s Dairyland in 1993, yet it’s such a popular community fixture that some customers still call it Dairy Isle. In 1998, the Campbells sold the restaurant to their daughters, Jill and Leesa, and it continued on to now.

“What’s really neat is, I’ve been here for 30 years,” Jay said. “I’ve seen people that I took their order from when they were little kids coming in with their parents, and now they’re coming in here with their own kids — they’re parents themselves, so I’m seeing these second generations with my own eyes, and it’s really gratifying and humbling to see.”

Campbell’s Dairyland is located at 200 S Parsons Ave. in Brandon. It’s currently seeking employees, so if you’d like to become one, please contact the restaurant. For more information, visit or call 813-685-1189.

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Taylor Wells
Taylor Wells is a relatively recently hired news reporter for the Osprey Observer, having been with the paper only since October 8, 2018. Aside from writing articles, he helps edit and upload them to the Osprey Observer site, and is always available to help other staff members in his spare time. He graduated from Saint Leo University with a bachelor’s degree in professional writing and lives in Valrico.