Young entrepreneur Katie Crouse hopes to inspire more than just unique pizza combinations through her pizza chain Infinitus Pie.
Crouse, who goes by “Katie Pie” at the restaurant, grew up around pizza and, after operating her own pizza business — Friday Pizza — during her junior year studying at the University of Denver, she opened Infinitus Pie in 2010 in Wheat Ridge.
Infinitus Pie, 3928 Wadsworth Blvd., originally opened under the name “My Pie,” but that name was changed last year.
“Sophomore year I thought of making a restaurant that is the ‘Chipotle of pizza,’ so that’s what I did,” Crouse said.
Infinitus Pie serves personal eight-inch pizzas with anything and everything available as a topping. Customers choose their crust and sauce and then can pile on the toppings, such as vine-ripened black olives, natural sausage, corn and even eggs.
“We’ll do anything people want to try on a pie if we can get the ingredients,” Crouse said. “Imagine it and we’ll put it on a pie.”
One of the more interesting and delicious ingredients Crouse said she has tried is crumbled up Goldfish crackers.
While serving custom personal pizza pies with fresh ingredients Crouse’s main goal for Infinitus Pie, she has another mission — encouraging customers to support businesses with a larger mission.
Crouse’s mission, which all of her employees share, is “Inspiring with mouthwatering pie coupled with our passionate dedication to community, education and humor.”
“What we can do is inspire people,” she said. “Consumers have the power to shop with businesses that support values.”
Crouse said she would like to someday see all businesses have their mission statement up front and work for more than just profit.
Having fun and humor is another key value of Infinitus Pie, Crouse said.
“The best counterbalance is a joke,” she said. “We want to go forth and make a positive difference in lives.”
Infinitus Pie supports local organizations and education through two main programs.
The third Monday of every month is Pie 10 Day. On Pie 10 Day, Infinitus Pie donates 31.4 percent, which is 10 times Pi, of their profits to organizations, such as nonprofits, schools, clubs and other groups.
Since Pie 10 Day started, Infinitus Pie has donated more than $10,000 to groups and organizations.
Infinitus Pie also has the $180 Million Dream Fund.
Instead of working for tips, Infinitus Pie employees work for “appreciation dollars,” which are then put into a scholarship fund.
Crouse’s goal is to create a scholarship fund that is $180 million — which she said is feasible if she expands her restaurant into a chain. A second Infinitus Pie recently opened in Broomfield at 145 Nickel.
If there are 5,000 stores nationwide, which is a goal for Crouse, and each store collects $100 in appreciation dollars per day, the scholarship fund could reach $180 million.
“I believe in the power of business, both big and small, and its economic power,” Crouse said. “Businesses have the unique ability to be so efficient and build relationships in the community. We decided to take leadership in inspiring the use of education through our scholarship fund.”
Infinitus Pie also cares about the environment in addition to its community.
About 93 percent of Infinitus Pie’s waste is recycled or composted, Crouse said.
While there is much more to Infinitus Pie than pizza, Crouse said the crucial element to any business and its ability to influence and support a community is a quality product — and in this case, that’s a mouthwatering personal pizza pie.