ROCKLAND, Maine — James Hatch and Susan Schiro will be expanding their Home Kitchen brand to a new set of food shops.

The couple, who have operated the Home Kitchen Cafe at 650 Main St. in the north end of Rockland since February 2009, will be opening up a bakery, a burrito and sandwich shop, and an ice cream shop on the street level of the Rankin block where the Brown Bag restaurant and bakery formerly operated.

The Brown Bag closed in November 2015.

Hatch said that before the Brown Bag closed, the couple was planning on opening a bakery in a building they own behind the cafe. When the Rankin block space became available, he said they decided to expand for a couple reasons.

“This was a turn key bakery,” Hatch said, with Home Kitchen purchasing the equipment and leasing the ground floor space that is owned by Summer Street Housing.

There also was another reason, he said.

“We didn’t want someone else coming in and competing. So we tied up the spot,” Hatch said.

Home Kitchen is within a few hundred yards of the Rankin Block, which is located at the intersection of Main, North Main and Rankin streets.

The bakery, which should be open by April, will supply Home Kitchen but also offer retail sales, he said.

The burrito and sandwich shop, he said, will have offerings made from scratch just like Home Kitchen. The subs will include north end Boston-style ones with crusty Italian bread. Subs with soft breads also will be offered.

The new establishment will offer pick-up-and-go prepared meals, but there will be a few seats in the shop for anyone who wants to sit and eat, he said.

Hatch said they do not want a whole lot of crossover between what is offered at Home Kitchen and the new eateries.

He said he and Schiro don’t know who worked at the Brown Bag but that if former employees of that bakery and restaurant apply, they will certainly be considered since the couple is looking for experienced bakers and staff. He expects to employ an additional eight people.

Hatch and Schiro still are dreaming up names for the new businesses but indicated they would stress the ties to Home Kitchen.

The house in back of the cafe where the ice cream shop has been may be turned into a waiting area, Hatch said. An attached barn may be torn down to provide more room for parking.

Hatch said he will be overseeing the new shops and thus will be getting out of the kitchen more.

Hatch and Schiro had previously operated a graphics business for 16 years, but during that time, they developed plans for their ultimate goal.

They opened Home Kitchen in 2009 and expanded and modernized the cafe in early 2013.

In a 2013 interview with the Bangor Daily News, the couple acknowledged they took a great leap of faith to invest their life savings in a restaurant during a recession.

“Everyone said we were crazy to open a restaurant in the worst of economic times,” Hatch said then. “But we had a vision.”

That vision has led to Home Kitchen being a popular spot for locals and tourists to enjoy breakfast and lunch.