CHARLESTON, SC. — Red Clay Hot Sauce, a premium hot sauce, honey and spice brand, has secured $3 million in a seed funding round led by Curate Capital, a Houston-based venture capital firm focused on women-led businesses.

Founded in 2018 and described by Food & Wine as “Tabasco for the 21st century,” Red Clay markets a range of Southern-inspired pantry staples sold in retail stores across the country, including Whole Foods Market, Publix, The Fresh Market, Target and more. The capital will support growth of Red Clay’s retail distribution and direct-to-consumer business, said Molly Fienning, co-founder and chief executive officer.

“We’re at a pivotal time where America needs to lean more aggressively into supporting women-led business with seed and venture capital,” she said. “We love that Curate Capital was founded to do just that and we’re honored that its leadership team saw in Red Clay what we also see — an opportunity to scale this digital-savvy, beautifully-branded and chef-driven lineup of delicious and spicy Southern staples.”

Additional investors include celebrity chef Molly Baz and food industry leader Jay Bush of Bush Brothers.

“We are passionate about investing in influential women building outstanding consumer-touching businesses, and Molly and Red Clay are prime examples of that,” said Carrie Colbert, founding and general partner of Curate Capital. “Red Clay has consistently demonstrated outsized growth over the past few years, and it is rooted in strong underlying business principles. We are thrilled to be supporting Molly and the Red Clay team as they continue this exciting path.”