Durham coffee shop owner vows to continue helping veterans
Posted September 2, 2014
Durham, N.C. — 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.”
“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.