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Durham shop owner gets second chance with help from community

Posted December 9, 2014

Matt Victoriano
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— A former Marine sniper is getting another shot at running his Durham shop after a crowd-funding effort helped re-energize his business plan.

In August, 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, his business, Intrepid Life Coffee, was days from going out of business.

Victoriano said he planned to close the shop for good after falling months behind on his rent, but he always hoped to reopen in another downtown location so he could continue his mission to help fellow veterans.

Friends suggested a social media campaign, and it worked. Victoriano raised $27,000 in just seven days. Intrepid Life has now taken on a new life at its new location on Broad Street.

“There’s Wi-Fi, printer, food and coffee,” he said. “It’s laid out to be a comfortable work space. (Customers) can buy monthly memberships and have access to it.”

The membership-based community work space is being operated as a nonprofit and charges $6 per month. The former Marine’s goal is to help other veterans get back on their feet.

“Nobody understands you except for the guys that served beside you in similar situations,” Victoriano said.

He is still steep in debt from his failed coffee shop but said he won’t be using any of the crowd-funding money to bail himself out.

“That money wasn’t donated to pay debt. It was meant to keep the mission going, and that’s what I intend to do,” he said.

Victoriano says he will eventually offer workshops and employment training for veterans at the new location.

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  • swiftsteve99 Dec 16, 2014

    This guy has had more chances than anyone else I have heard of -- after failing at being an employee for 10 years, he managed to convince a string of gullible people to fund his attempts at being self-employed. He has spent over $90,000, with little to show for it, using money from his wife's parents retirement account (>15K), a City of Durham grant (15K), his landlords (>30K), IndiGoGo community (>27K), credit cards, and other undisclosed sources. Although he makes his 'mission' sound honorable, how many others are used and discarded in the process? His dishonorable actions are not aligned with the mission of improving veterans' reputations in community. This new venture is placing the blame on others if does not succeed - essentially blaming the people who funded its creation - by stating that they need to continue donating. Maybe it is time to for Matt to integrate into society himself, learn how to be an employee and stop taking money that other people earned by working.

  • inspector01 Dec 11, 2014

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    He is at 904 Broad, 2 blocks down from Whole Foods.

  • facepalm Dec 10, 2014

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    Wow, you right-wingers aren't even supporting vets now?

  • Wenchmaid Dec 10, 2014

    904 Broad Street, Durham
    http://www.intrepidlifecsbar.com/

  • xylem01 Dec 10, 2014

    Anyone know where on Broad St this is located? I would like to support him in his endeavors rather than rake him over the coals like another poster. I don't live in Durham but work there and this guy is someone that is doing good for the community.

  • T-Man Dec 10, 2014

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    He wasn't being honored by the President for making tons of money. He was being praised for his efforts to help veterans get back on their feet when they return home from protecting you. Feel how you want to about Obama, but Mr Victoriano most certainly does NOT deserve your ire.

  • A person Dec 10, 2014

    In August he was being praised by Barack Hussein Obama as a success, immediately before declaring bankruptcy.m A new definition of success has been adopted since Barack came to town. Total failure is now praised