Victory Coffees: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Many people like a good cup of coffee to set them up for the day. And for former Navy SEAL Cade Courtley, that applies just as much, if not more so, to people like him who face much more challenging and hazardous daily tasks than most of us. Courtley, who served almost a decade in the military, went on to host the TV show "Surviving Disaster." But his passion for quality coffee, as well as helping his fellow veterans, led to the creation of Victory Coffees in 2015.

Courtley's ambition was to create a "Victory Army" (via YouTube) that would see him recruiting and training up an all-veteran salesforce to deliver his brand. The focus was on high-quality international blends that were organically grown, with customers able to buy the coffee via subscription, as well as a business-to-business model.

Courtley took Victory Coffees, which was based in Austin, Texas, to "Shark Tank" after the casting department for the show reached out to him having seen a video he'd produced for his company's website. So would the Sharks be prepared to invest in a cup of Victory as they had cold-brew maker Bruw — or would he walk away empty-handed like Super Coffee before him?

What happened to Victory Coffees on Shark Tank?

Founder and CEO Cade Courtley presented his business Victory Coffees, which he had founded 18 months previously, on season 8 of "Shark Tank," which aired in January 2017. He was asking for an investment of $250,000 in return for a 20% stake. The coffees, with military names such as Sailor, Leatherneck, and Airman, were offered in different formats such as whole bean for grinding at home, ready-ground, or single cup pods.

Courtley was accompanied on the show by Miss Betty Bean, a character dressed as a version of Rosie the Riveter, who also appeared on the brand's packaging. And the Sharks were impressed by the presentation as well as with the ex-veteran's story, with Mark Cuban saying that he had "heart" and "determination" (via YouTube).

But they were not quite so taken with the business model. Eight months of his online subscription model selling to the public had brought in $30,000, but he also had big plans for a B2B strategy. However, the Sharks felt it was probably too early to invest in a company that was perhaps not as focused in the direction of its ambitions as it needed to be yet. Victory Coffees left without a deal.

Victory Coffees after Shark Tank

Despite leaving the Tank without a deal, Cade Courtley was adamant that he would make a success of his coffee business, vowing to "crush the competition" (via YouTube) once he left the show. He went on to tell Fox News in 2017 that not getting investment from the Sharks was "one of the best things in the world" that had happened to him (via YouTube).

An Instagram post by Victory Coffees a month after the episode of "Shark Tank" aired suggested that the company had indeed seen a big boost to the business following the publicity generated by the show. Courtley said the company was "working [three] shifts 24 hours a day" (via Instagram) to fulfill all the orders from new customers.

Courtley also had plans to make Victory Coffees available for free in every VA hospital, he told Fox News, which he followed up on with deliveries of boxes. However, the ambition for a longer-term official partnership with VA hospitals doesn't seem to have come to fruition since Starbucks is the official coffee served in VCS PatriotBrew coffee shops in VA centers across the country.

Is Victory Coffees still in business?

Victory Coffees is still in business with a subscription service offering customers a selection of different coffees delivered to their doors. Coffee lovers can choose from Arabica blends such as Leatherneck (dark roast), Sailor (medium roast), Trooper (light roast), Admiral (espresso), and Airman (decaffeinated coffee – which, yes, still has some caffeine). Single-serve pods called Soldier Cups claim to be the world's strongest, with 12 grams of the brand's Battleship Blend in each one.

Different monthly subscription plans can be tailored depending on how many servings customers prefer to drink each day. A sample pack, named Victory Squad, offers the chance to try each blend before choosing a subscription model. And in early 2018, the brand also began to expand its offering, launching items such as a 20-ounce aluminum-insulated stainless steel Victory Canteen cup for coffee on the go.

Cade Courtley continued promoting his brand after "Shark Tank" with interviews on various TV channels. The company traded through the pandemic with its home-delivery service. And though Facebook and Instagram posts have slowed significantly since 2021, Victory Coffees is still active in producing content to promote its brews.

What's next for Victory Coffees?

Victory Coffees has not specifically announced any new products or plans for the future via its website or social channels. But founder Cade Courtley continues to launch initiatives to help former veterans with his business, and that looks to continue. For example, in April 2023, worried by the high number of ex-service suicides, he launched the Victory Challenge, encouraging people to brew a cup of coffee and call a veteran to check how they're doing.

Courtley also has professional interests outside the coffee business. In 2020, he returned to presenting and launched "Can You Survive This Podcast?" which he hosted for six months. His company SEAL Survival Gear, Inc., which he launched in 2006 and offers former Navy SEAL leadership advice to other businesses, is also still running according to LinkedIn.

Courtley also continues to make media appearances as a guest on outlets such as CNN and Newsmax, offering his expert opinion on news stories. But even on his own personal social media posts, Courtley still posts pictures of himself holding a Victory Coffees cup, suggesting the business remains a priority for him despite his other engagements.