White House honors for veteran-entrepreneurs includes NC coffee shop owner on verge of closing

A former Marine Corps sniper in Iraq who started a coffee shop that employs fellow veterans is to be honored at a White House event Wednesday even as he solicits online donations to stay open.

Intrepid Life Coffee & Spirits owner Matt Victoriano admits Tuesday it's ironic to be honored as an example of the successful veteran-turned-entrepreneur when he may have to shut down in less than two weeks. He says he won't hide the fact he's trying to raise $27,000 to pay back rent and make improvements.

Victoriano is one of 10 veterans or their supporters being honored as "Champions of Change" for their entrepreneurship. It's one in a series of White House events celebrating people who advance causes ranging from solar power to higher worker wages.


Emery Dalesio can be reached at


Associated Press writer Jonathan Drew contributed to this report.