What Happened To Victory Coffees After Shark Tank?

In 2017 "Shark Tank" audiences were introduced to former Navy SEAL sniper Cade Courtley, who had served in the military for nine years before appearing on Season 8 of the show. After he was discharged from duty, Courtley dabbled in several businesses which all revolved around his time serving as a Navy SEAL — a line of SEAL-branded gear, a website that taught survival skills, and a survival guidebook as well. In fact, he also had his own show called "Surviving Disaster," on Spike TV.

But, the company that he wanted the Sharks to invest in had nothing to do with survival skills or TV shows. He was seeking an investment in a business that he thought everybody would want a sip of: coffee. He described to the sharks how chaotic and unpredictable life was as a SEAL, For Courtley, normalcy was a good cup of coffee. So the veteran-owned and operated Victory Coffees was born, "whose only mission is to deliver you amazing coffee," he told the Sharks.

To make Victory Coffees memorable, the bags featured a picture of Ms. Betty Bean, a version of the instantly recognizable Rosie the Riveter. Courtley also brought a real-life version of the character on the show to make his pitch.

The sharks were impressed with Cade Courtley but not his business

Cade Courtley was seeking $250,000 for a 20% stake in Victory Coffees, a subscription-based business that delivered organically grown single-serve pods, whole bean, and ground coffee to coffee drinkers across the country.

While the Sharks were impressed with Courtley, his background, and the coffees that he was selling, they didn't quite warm up to his business model. Courtley wanted to sell directly to his customers and hire veterans as Victory Coffees' brand ambassadors. Mark Cuban was concerned about the small scale of his business at that point and told Courtley that he felt he was trying to achieve too much at once, and he was the first to go out.

The general consensus amongst the Sharks, though, was that coffee was already a crowded field, and Courtley needed to slow down and continue selling Victory Coffee and building his business before seeking such a large investment. Ultimately, while Courtley walked away with immense respect and five new customers for his coffee subscription business, he failed to secure a deal with the Sharks.

An Instagram post alluded to a sharp increase in business

After the episode aired, Cade Courtley didn't say much about the effect being on the show had on Victory Coffees, but he hinted at it with a Victory Coffee's Instagram photo a month later showing boxes and boxes of coffee with a caption that described "working 3 shifts 24 hours a day" to fulfill orders from new customers. He also told Fox News he was glad the Sharks didn't invest. "One of the best things in the world happened to me, I did not get a deal. The people said 'Look, the Sharks don't get it.' I told them, 'Don't underestimate the power of patriotism.' I've got people who are like, 'We want to prove the Sharks wrong.'"

On a "Shark Tank" subreddit, many agreed with the Sharks in that Victory Coffees didn't seem like it was ready for a Shark's investment. Redditors thought that Courtley relied too heavily on his Navy background without promising numbers to back up his coffee subscription business. Some even found that he spoke too much about the veteran aspect of his business which came at the cost of a successful sales pitch to convince the sharks that Victory Coffees was a lucrative investment.

Victory Coffees is still in business

Victory Coffee's website lists five different kinds of coffee: Leatherneck (dark roast), Sailor (medium roast), Trooper (light roast), Admiral (espresso), and Airman (decaf). The single-serve pods are called Soldier Cups and can be ordered decaf or regular, with the regular containing Battleship Blend. "I'm proud to say they are the world's strongest because we cram 12 grams of espresso into each one of those things," Cade Courtley said in an interview with Cyrus Webb. The cheapest subscription is one bag of coffee a month for $36, while the most expensive option is five bags of coffee for $180. The Victory Squad is a sample pack of all five coffees for $30. Victory Coffees also carries Victory Canteens, which are 20-ounce, stainless steel, insulated coffee mugs.

Courtley told Fox10 in 2017 that he visited VA hospitals around the country every month, talking about his time in the Navy, and giving away bags of Victory Coffees. "I donate a couple hundred pounds of this coffee, so even though you're waiting to see your doctor, my fellow veterans can enjoy a really good cup of coffee," he said. He had also told Fox News that he planned to make Victory Coffees available for free in every VA hospital, but it doesn't appear that happened, as Starbucks is partnered with the VA for coffee in their VCS PatriotBrew coffee shops.

Courtley in involved in other endeavors outside Victory Coffees

Victory Coffee has 1,800 followers on Instagram and more than 5,000 followers on Facebook with a rating of 4.7 out of 5. While the business seems to still be going strong, its social media promotions have dwindled. The last Facebook post was in December 2021. The last Instagram post was in June of 2023. Posts about the coffee have also slowed down with more photos of social commentary or political in nature. In April, Courtley posted an Instagram video asking people to take the Victory Challenge, which involves brewing a cup of coffee and calling a veteran to ask how they're doing.

Outside Victory Coffees, Courtley launched "Can You Survive This Podcast?" in 2020, interviewing such figures as Robert O'Neill, the former Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden, Neil Degrasse Tyson, and Hannibal Burress. He hosted the show for the first season, and then Clint Emerson took over for the second season. His company SEAL Survival Gear, Inc., which he launched in 2006, is also still active. He provides consultations and speaks about the techniques and team building he learned as a Navy SEAL and has also shared his opinions on Fox News and CNN.