Charity, community, diversity: Project Pizza


Collegian | Reiley Costa

Project Pizza co-owners Colleen Constant and Isaiah Ruffin pose with a pizza outside of their food truck parked at Stodgy Brewing Company in Fort Collins Feb. 20.

Alexander Wilson, Staff Reporter

Project Pizza has served Larimer County good food and good times for a cause since 2021.

“This idea of a mobile pizza truck was pitched to a previous employer, and when they decided not to move forward with the idea, we decided it would be a great fit for us on our own,” founder Isaiah Ruffin said. “(It’s) a way to combine the passion for food literacy and the skill of cooking.”


Currently the company has a program called the Food Lit Foundation. This charity funds gardens for many schools in the Larimer area and food literacy programs for students. The awardees of the quarterly Learning Garden Grant receive $500 and a pizza party thrown by Project Pizza.

Ruffin’s wife, Colleen Constant, was at his side from the very beginning. Constant is the co-owner and the director of administration for Project Pizza. She controls scheduling, employment and any administrative needs. Constant is also head of community engagement, which means businesses reach out to her and she ensures the schools who win the Learning Garden Grant receive their pizza parties in a timely manner.

“I decided I was done working for other people and was excited for the next adventure,” Constant said. 

One of the couple’s goals for their adventure, the pizza truck, was to throw the world’s largest pizza party. The duo attempted this feat in August 2022. 

“My favorite recurring memory is when customers come up to the truck and tell us our pizza is the best they’ve ever had.” -Isaiah Ruffin, founder of Project Pizza

“We had five other pizza trucks from all over Colorado,” Constant said. “We never heard back from Guinness (World Records), but in our eyes, it was the biggest pizza party.”

Although the company had plenty of fun and made great memories, they still experience hardships some other businesses in town don’t. Being a Black-owned business in a town with about an 80% white population, Project Pizza attempts to bring everyone together despite the intense discrimination they face on a daily basis.

The reality is that people can be very racist and hide it in unsuspecting ways as well as microaggressions, which makes for twice the amount of work on our end,” Ruffin said. “Another difficult part of being a Black business owner in this area is that we don’t have a network with other Black-owned businesses, specifically in the food industry.”

However, according to Constant, there have been positive impacts of being a Black-owned business in a predominately white community.

It has affected our business in ways that are positive and negative,” Constant said. “People will seek us out for pizza; we have other Black people in the area that will seek us out. It has helped us gain business but also helped us lose business.”


The business has been attempting to obtain a brick-and-mortar for over two years now yet has consistently faced challenges. The goal of a brick-and-mortar is to gain more clientele by having an in-person restaurant business where customers have a main location to visit.

We’ve had a very trying time trying to get a brick-and-mortar, but we find other businesses have no issue at all,” Constant said. “It’s been a challenge for sure, but (it) has been hopeful for other people of color in the area.”

The goal of the brick-and-mortar is to make Project Pizza fully a nonprofit. 

“We’ve been told that we aren’t the right fit for a brick-and-mortar in a particular location,” Ruffin said. “At this point, we have tried at least four times to get a brick-and-mortar in the Fort Collins area.” 

With all of this in mind, everything Ruffin and Constant do is worth it in the end.

“My favorite recurring memory is when customers come up to the truck and tell us our pizza is the best they’ve ever had,” Ruffin said.

Reach Alexander Wilson at or on Twitter @alexgrey0604.