Getting to Know Brian Noah of the Flip Flop Den

As the Patch coverage expands to include Cotati, we continue our quest to meet more of the great small business owners within our wonderful community. This week we found a hidden gem for our footwear needs.

A flip flop shop in Cotati? Yup! Tucked away just off downtown Cotati past the Eight Ball and Little New Yorker Pizza you can find this one-of-a-kind shop that provides comfy footwear no matter what time of year the calendar says it is.

While this type of store is very common in places like San Diego or Pismo Beach, it is certainly a unique and welcome addition to the community. As his website states, "FlipFlops are a lifestyle. Embrace them." That is a very good motto that makes one think of lazy days and permanent vacations.

The Flip Flop Den certainly feels like summer when you walk in. With a wide variety available for everyone from kids to adults, being in his shop certainly made you hope for an Indian summer. They also had lots of other great products such as a rack of skateboards, sunglasses, beachwear, and a few other odds and ends.

So it was time to kick off my shoes and get comfortable and learn more about Brian and how his new den came to be.

How long have you been here?

Our Grand Opening was on March 31st of this year. We are a little out of the way so not everyone has noticed us yet.

Are you from the area?

Yes. I grew up in Rohnert Park. After I graduated from high school I moved to southern California to pursue a position in the motorcycle industry.

So why a Flip Flop shop?

First and foremost there is nothing quite like this in the area of Sonoma County. I always wanted a store in this area that had a large variety of sandals in one store…and that’s what I set out to do.

What was the reason for choosing Cotati for your location?

Downtown Cotati was a great location for me to start because my store fits in with the town vibe of being relaxed and fun. I also wanted a location that was relatively close to SSU so that students could find our store and utilize the student discounts we offer.

Did you always want to own a flip flop store growing up?

(laughs) No, my dream was to work in the motorcycle industry which I did for the past ten years. I managed the motocross support programs for American Suzuki Motor Corp. I was lucky enough to have a chance to work and experience my dream position…and from there I thought there was only one more thing I always wanted to do and that was to start my own business.

If you could have anyone at all, alive or dead walk into the shop, who would you want to meet?

Jimi Hendrix. He just seems like a cool guy to talk to and created amazing music.

What is your favorite kind of music?

I really like a lot of older stuff…I believe I was born in the wrong generation. I wish I was around in the 60’s or 70’s.

Are you a sports fan?

Yes, my favorite teams are the 49ers and Giants. We actually do things like ticket giveaways for the Giants from our Facebook page for people who come into the store and buy stuff all the time.

What is your favorite thing to do in Sonoma County?

I like to go to the beach when the weather is sunny and warm.

What is your favorite thing about living here?

I really think the people are a lot friendlier. After having traveled around most areas in the United States I have noticed how much friendlier people can be in northern California.

If we asked your friends to describe you with one word they would say...?


That wrapped up our time together as he had customers to attend to. If you want to know more about Brian you can feel free to stop by and say "hi". It was a pleasure meeting him and checking out his very unique store just off the hub of Cotati.

Looking for flip flops or other beach styled accessories? Then look no further than the Flip Flop Den which is located at 8278 Old Redwood Highway in Cotati. You can also visit them on the web at FlipFlopDen.com where you can handle your ordering online soon when the online shop becomes fully available. They can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Their normal business hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday thru Saturday. If you need to give them a call the number is (707) 385-8410.

If you are a local business owner who would like to sit down for a chat and be featured in our 'Getting to Know' column, please contact us at carlos.villatoro@patch.com.

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Feelincheesy September 28, 2012 at 04:14 PM
great story - love the Q&A
Reginald "Rex" Henderson September 30, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Very touchy-feely interview. Not sure what to make of it, or the business itself. For my money, a good piece on Smoke Shop, over near Raleys, would be a better choice.


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