White House honors owner of Intrepid Life amid closing

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 05:42 PM

The White House will honor Matt Victoriano for his business, Intrepid Life Coffee and Spirits on Wednesday -- days before the shop is set to close.

The White House will recognize Victoriano for being a “Champion of Change,” which honors veterans and their families for “doing extraordinary work across the country as leaders in entrepreneurship.”

The champions have “distinguished themselves by continuing to serve our country through their successful small businesses and non-profits that create jobs, spur economic growth, and help their communities,” according to a release from the White House Press Office.

After seven months at 106 W. Parrish St., Intrepid Life is set to close by Sept. 7 after Victoriano fell behind, he said, in paying rent.

Victoriano, a former Marine Corps sergeant, said he attempted to hire as many veterans as possible at Intrepid Life and that while his business model is unique, it wasn’t enough to sustain business.

The Intrepid Life space is approximately 2,000 square feet and operated by Bullocity Redevelopment, which renovated it in 2011 and 2012.

Aaron Averill, co-owner of Bullocity, confirmed that Intrepid life is scheduled to leave by Sept. 7 and said in an email that they have received interest from brokers and business owners for the space, but no lease has been signed.

“We’re encouraged by the recent explosion in new building and historic renovations nearby as well as the blossoming entrepreneurial activity,” he said.

After Intrepid Life announced the closing earlier this month, Victoriano launched an Indie GoGo campaign to raise funds for the shop.

The campaign is due to close on September 5 and has reached approximately 16 percent of its goal of $27,000.

According to the campaign’s site, 110 funders have contributed $4,420.

On the site, Victoriano writes that donations will refine the bar and lighting, install a street sign, hire a shop manager to focus on event planning, pay past-due rent, and launch and lead weekly Intrepid events. These events include: game night, trivia, storytelling running and self-defense training.

The “Champions of Change” event will be live streamed Wednesday  at 1 p.m. The link is www.whitehouse.gov/live. Speakers will include Jill Biden and entrepreneurs Daymond John, Kevin O’ Leary and Robert Herjavec from the ABC show “Shark Tank.”