(Jan. 3) DALLAS — Four years after the fourth Eatzi’s Market & Bakery opened, the home-meal-replacement pioneer’s new owners are planning 25 new restaurant/retail outlets in the next five years.

Eatzi’s owners already are scouting locations in the Dallas and Atlanta areas, where new stores could open within a year, said marketing coordinator Carol Cobler.

Houston and the Washington, D.C., suburb of Rockville, Md., the locations of the other two Eatzi’s, likely will receive up to two new stores each.

“I think Los Angeles is pretty certain, as is Seattle,” Cobler said. “Those are some of the areas we’re looking at.”

New Eatzi’s will have the same retail and display areas — including about 100 square feet of fresh produce space — but the preparation areas will be smaller at the stores. Cobler said existing stores, except the Dallas one, have enough kitchen space to serve two other facilities. Food will be distributed from the flagship stores to the newer locations several times a day, using Eatzi’s catering vehicles.

“Dallas is the only flagship that doesn’t have the capacity to support another store, and in Dallas we’ve built a culinary center,” Cobler said. “We have the space and equipment, but it’s not up and running yet.”

The Dallas Eatzi’s has about 8,000 square feet, which will be comparable to the size of the 25 new locations; the three other flagship stores have 13,000-15,000 square feet.

Chefs use ingredients from the fresh produce displays, which are stocked by local distributors. Although the selection can’t directly compete against that of a grocery store, Cobler said, Eatzi’s takes care to price competitively and follow consumer suggestions on what to stock.

“I don’t think produce is the first reason they’re at Eatzi’s, obviously,” she said, “but it is right there in prominent locations. We have different produce companies in each town, and we really shop around to find the ones that are the best partners for us.”

Philip Romano, who developed Eatzi’s with Brinker International Inc., Dallas, joined Boston-based Castanea Partners to purchase Eatzi’s in mid-December.

Castanea Partners is a private equity investment firm founded by former publisher Harcourt General and The Nieman Marcus Group chief executive officers Robert Smith and Brian Knez.

Romano will be co-chief executive officer and is a member of the Eatzi’s board.

Other investors include Matrix Capital Markets Group, the investment banking firm that oversaw the transaction, and Richard Claes, former president and chief executive officer of Thornton Oil Corp.

Claes is the co-chief executive officer and board member, and Diana Fair, a former regional vice president of operations with The Cheesecake Factory, will be chief operating officer.

Cobler said Eatzi’s focused on bringing uniformity to the four flagship locations in the past several years, and that was a key factor in preparing for expanding the number of locations.

Brinker International owns, operates, franchises or is involved in the ownership of 1,268 restaurants, including Chili’s Bar and Grill, Romano’s Macaroni Grill and On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina.