I believe that you should try and acquire customers and prepare for a production partner as soon as possible. You will need a sales record and/or taste test data to present to investors to validate your business case. You did say that this is not for everyone which is why knowing who your target customer base is is so important.
I am assuming you will need external funding to go to production. Also if you want to market the product you will probably need Health department approval. That is why an established production house will be able to deliver a consistent product on time. Their record is what you are basing your success on. Investors will want to see a coherent business plan and a record of sales with projections. Ever watch Shark Tank?