5 things you need to know about Gold Sprint Coffee

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Victor Burlingame, founder of Gold Sprint, talks about how the popular coffee shop came to be. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

What started as a post-ride conversation has now become one of the most popular hubs for Huntsville meetings, coffee dates and study groups.

Gold Sprint, founded by Victor Burlingame, has a story with deep roots in Huntsville—and a story that continues to bring creativity to Huntsville through coffee, concerts and community.

1. Gold Sprint was born from a love of biking

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Step inside a Huntsville story at Gold Sprint. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

Victor and his friend would hang out and talk about it after riding motorcycles together. Victor had been wanting to run his own small business for a long time. He envisioned a coffee shop that involved his love of biking.

With his friend’s and his wife’s convincing, he decided to go for it. In August of 2019, Victor and his business partner Grant opened Gold Sprint.

But the story goes back even further than that. Victor has been connected to the Huntsville long before Gold Sprint came to be.

2. The owner discovered the building on countless bike rides through Huntsville

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The folks behind that counter come up with some of the best flavors around. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

Victor grew up moving around because his dad was a Marine, and he had attended around 20 schools by the time he graduated—including Lee High School. One place his family ended up in over and over was Huntsville.

His parents bought a house off of Oakwood Avenue when he was very young, so Victor has been connected to the area since the beginning.

Victor described how, once he got into biking, he would ride the streets of Huntsville and got to know, “every street, every neighborhood and every dog.” One of those streets was 9th Avenue, where Gold Sprint is today.

Victor said he used to ride by the Gold Sprint building, which was surrounded by barbed wire and painted a not-so-pretty yellow color.

When he started looking for a place to put his coffee shop, he called the owner of that yellow building. After a couple of late-night text conversations, the two came to a deal.

People told Victor that the neighborhood wasn’t ready for his idea yet, but he disagreed. Turns out, Victor was on the right track. Gold Sprint has been bustling with coffee lovers since day one.

3. Gold Sprint makes some of the most creative, well-rounded drinks

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Now I want a peppermint mocha. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

Many things about Gold Sprint keep visitors coming back for more—and the coffee is certainly one of them.

Victor and his team come up with new and unique flavors for the coffees all the time. One of the reasons they’re able to be so creative is because they make all their syrups in-house and get all their tinctures from a local herbalist.

They combine those syrups and tinctures with high-quality coffee to make some of the most creative, well-rounded drinks you’ve ever tried.

Victor’s favorite is the Honey Lavender Latte with locally-made lavender tinctures, a double shot of espresso and honey.

“It’s really clean, natural and not overly sweet. It tastes like a flower.”

Victor Burlingame

Other lattes that they’ve created include the Umami Dearest, a latte made with miso and caramel, and the El Camino, a mocha latte with a house-made habanero syrup.

But, in all their drinks, Gold Sprint makes sure that the coffee is center stage. Victor said that they design their drinks to be, “balance of umami undertones along with the coffee.”

The baristas at Gold Sprint help to create those balanced coffees with unique flavors. Victor said that he wants his employees to be proud of what they create at Gold Sprint, and they’ve made Gold Sprint bigger than he imagined.

“It’s still our vision, but it’s better.”

Victor Burlingame

That vision includes not only the delicious coffee at Gold Sprint, but also the unique atmosphere.

4. Gold Sprint’s name and space reflects a love of biking

Inside the coffee shop, it doesn’t take too long to pick up on the biking theme.

Victor has been involved in biking for a long time. He gained many of his closest friends through the sport, and he also worked in the biking industry before opening Gold Sprint. So, it’s only natural that his coffee shop would have a connection to biking.

The name itself is a biking term. A gold sprint is a type of race that some of the toughest bikers do, but not outdoors. These races happen inside on stationary bikes—often in bars where bikers hang out after long days.

Gold sprints are 500 meter sprints on a stationary bike, so they only last about 30 seconds. But, those 30 seconds determine who’s the best of the night and gets the bragging rights of winning the gold sprint.

Victor used to do gold sprints with friends, which is where the iconic name of the coffee shop comes from—as well as the bikes hanging on the walls.

But bikes aren’t the only decorations with a story. Almost everything you see has a story, from the bar top to the tables. Victor looked around as we talked, pointing to the different items inside the shop that friends made.

Gold Sprint is Huntsville-made, from the coffee to the craftsmanship—but also to the community.

5. Gold Sprint brings the community together for shows, too

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That stage has seen many a crowd. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

Not only does Gold Sprint bring people together over a cup of coffee, but it also brings people together with good music.

The back room at Gold Sprint holds a stage where you’ll find open mic nights as well as more well-known bands. On open mic nights, the stage is open to all ages, giving younger singers who can’t get into bars an opportunity to perform.

The space has also hosted art shows where many local artists came together, many of whom had never showcased their work.

So, Gold Sprint is a space of creativity—through coffee, concerts and community. And now, I think it’s time for a latte.

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Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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