Personal Drama Splits North Miami Night Market Into Two Different Organizations

What’s New With This Story: 

-The NoMi Night Market has split into two separate market operations after the co-founders split after a personal squabble.

-The newly named Urban Habitat Night Market [led by Howard Tonkin] will continue to take place Friday nights at a property located near the intersection of NE 123rd St and NE 13th Ave

-The NoMi Night Market [led by Laura Hill] vows to relaunch in the future, but is currently looking to secure a permanent space.

-Hill and Tonkin had worked together to bring North Miami’s first night market into being and it opened to a nice amount of support from the community on Nov. 3.


Personal differences have split a promising North Miami happening into two, only a few days after it officially started.

The NoMi Night Market is now the Urban Habitat Night Market or just a night market that happens at Urban Habitat, depending on who you ask.

And the NoMi Night Market is not dead, just looking to continue on at a different venue, depending on who you ask.

So yeah.

RISE NEWS attended the first weekly NoMi Night Market when it debuted on Nov. 3.

There were around 10 vendors and a smattering of local residents who popped in to sample various organic and sustainable products.

We even did a video on the opening:

But in the days following that opening, the co-founders split into two competing organizations.

As a result, North Miami may end up with two separate night markets.

What caused the split is based on who you believe.

Laura Hill and Howard Tonkin were the co-founders.

Hill is a North Miami activist and organizer, and Tonkin runs Urban Habitat, a sustainable landscaping business.

They both agree that they worked together to launch a night market at Tonkin’s new Urban Habitat property in North Miami.

But that’s about all they seem to agree on.

The biggest sticking point?

Just who came up with the idea in the first place.

Tonkin told RISE NEWS that the night market has been a dream of his for years, dating back to his time in Australia when he would visit the Mindil Beach night market.

He said that he’s wanted to bring the concept to Miami for years and that it is part of his overall long-term strategy for Urban Habitat.

“It’s my dream to bring people into my market,” Tonkin said. “It’s exciting to bring people into the market at night. That’s when the plants come alive.”

But Hill said that she came up with the idea.

“I’ve been around [Tonkin] for four years and I haven’t really heard him talk about the night market,” Hill said. “NoMi Night Market was the market we were bringing to that space. I brought the market together. Everything.”

What actually tore them apart is unclear as they each have wildly different versions.

“His vision and his methods made it clear to me that we had to rethink the market,” Hill said of Tonkin. “I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of hours putting the thing together. He’s very upset with me because I decided to part ways. Our philosophies of running a business are just different.”

Tonkin said that he felt that Hill was trying to “sabotage my business and take the idea and run with it on [her] own.”

No matter what caused the split, it could actually end up benefiting North Miami in the long run.

Now, the city and surrounding communities will have two night markets to choose from.

The Urban Habitat Night Market will take place every Friday near the intersection of NE 123rd St and NE 13th Ave.

The NoMi Night Market is looking to secure a space but plans to open in the near future.

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

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About the Author
Rich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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