Local News

Durham coffee shop owner vows to continue helping veterans

Posted September 2, 2014

— Last week, Durham coffee shop owner Matt Victoriano was being honored at the White House for his work to employ veterans and get them back on their feet. At the same time, he was days from going out of business.

Victoriano said Tuesday that he plans to close Intrepid Life Coffee for good on Saturday after falling months behind on his rent. He hopes to reopen in another downtown location so he can continue his mission to help fellow veterans.

“Summer hit and my sales stagnated, and I got backed up on rent,” Victoriano said.

Friends suggested a social media campaign, and it worked. Victoriano raised $27,000 in just seven days.

“It wasn’t because I served the best coffee or cocktails,” he said. “It’s because of what I’m doing for veterans.”

Brandon Finch is one of those veterans. More comfortable on the battlefield than working as a barista, the former Marine said he has struggled to adjust to life after war.

“It’s a lot different,” Finch said. “Something to get used to and adjust to.”

Victoriano understands.

“You see how much you’re struggling, and you know that there are other veterans struggling the same way,” he said

Victoriano says the landlord canceled insurance on his shop and wouldn’t give him a long-term lease.

"It's really not in the best of interest of this business or the people that donated for me to stay in this spot,” he said.

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  • Grand Union Sep 3, 2014

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    Been to Durham lots of times....never been even shot at...let alone shot.

  • ncouterbanks69 Sep 3, 2014

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    He better be careful if he does. A good cup of joe is not worth getting shot.

  • superflames Sep 3, 2014

    awesome story.

  • jdag Sep 3, 2014

    gunrsm8: The place is still open until Saturday. There is a silent auction today to continue the effort, even if it's at a new location. Come and put your money where your mouth is.

  • Anita Woody Sep 3, 2014

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    Second that. What a humanitarian!

  • KnowsItAll Sep 3, 2014

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    Wow! what a treat for Durham that you're willing to forgo your usual avoidance and pay the town a visit to show your support for the veterans! Alert the media! sounds like a red carpet day in the bull city for sure!

  • T-Man Sep 3, 2014

    Good luck in your new location Matt!

  • gunrsm8 Sep 3, 2014

    Didn't know his shop was there, and even tho I normally avoid Durham, I would have patronized...I will keep an eye out as to his relocation....I'm a coffee AND veteran fan!