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Compiled by Chris Woodyard, Times staff writer

Ordering the Works: For two decades, Pizza Man has delivered.

And all the while, the chain of home-delivered pizza stores stuck to its California stores while Domino's Pizza was expanding into a national chain.

Now El Centro Foods Inc. of North Hollywood, owners of the Pizza Man chain, has embarked on an aggressive program to enlarge its 61-store network in the state. The impact will be readily apparent in Orange County.

In the next few months, new Pizza Man stores are planned for Fountain Valley, San Clemente, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo and Santa Ana, according to Carrie Ross, a spokeswoman for the chain. The company already has takeout pizza shops in Garden Grove, Fullerton, Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Placentia and Santa Ana.

Ross said Pizza Man has taken a different approach intended to help new franchisees avoid some of the typical start-up problems. The new stores initially will be managed by veteran company officials, with the new franchisees taking over after operations are running smoothly.

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