The Pinion

Dream comes true for local shave ice store owner

Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha set to open new location in Ala Moana

Featured+above+is+the+Classic+Rainbow+shave+ice%0D%0Atopped+with+dream+sauce%2C+Tahitian+vanilla+ice-cream%2C%0D%0Aand+homemade+mochi+balls.%0D%0APhoto+by+Anela+Chavez
Featured above is the Classic Rainbow shave ice
topped with dream sauce, Tahitian vanilla ice-cream,
and homemade mochi balls.
Photo by Anela Chavez

Featured above is the Classic Rainbow shave ice topped with dream sauce, Tahitian vanilla ice-cream, and homemade mochi balls. Photo by Anela Chavez

Featured above is the Classic Rainbow shave ice topped with dream sauce, Tahitian vanilla ice-cream, and homemade mochi balls. Photo by Anela Chavez

Pinion staff

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By Kanani Orta

I have never tasted better shave ice than Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha. You can find it in the shopping center in Aina Haina. They’ve been there since 1999 and before that, it was a crack seed store.

Inside of HOPA, there are a lot of pictures and newspaper articles on the wall. The articles talk about when the shop has had their good times and bad times. The menu consists of a build-your-own shave ice and a special creations list. The special creations list includes Classic Rainbow, Uji Kintoki, Strawberry Dream, Choco Coco Paradise, Pina Colada, Tropical Delight, and The Ultimate.

I got Pina Colada, although I’m not usually a fan of coconut. I can’t get past the flavour. However, here the coconut toppings, syrup and haupia sauce mixed in so well with the Tahitian vanilla ice cream, fresh pineapples, and pineapple syrup. The ice cream is so creamy and the flavor tingles your taste buds, while the juice from the pineapple chunks just fill your mouth with delicious cold juice.

Uncle Clay is really friendly and gave me a hug after I gave him my name. I loved him because when some people make a Hawaiian-style store, they often only know words like “Aloha” or “Mahalo,” but when I told Uncle Clay my name he said, “Beautiful,” and that’s what my name means in Hawaiian.


By Kelvin Ku

HOPA is a shave ice store emphasizes all natural ingredients while also being delicious shave ice. The store blends their own syrup and sweetens their syrups with natural cane sugar and natural fruit. The store uses fruits and other natural ingredients and attempts to make shave ice as natural as possible.

I had the Strawberry Dream and it had me drooling just from looking at it. It was layered with ice cream and mochi with strawberries and strawberry flavored syrup. The strawberries tasted especially sweet with the syrup to complement it. The ice cream had a very frosty texture and melted in my mouth. There was almost no smell either as the ingredients were natural. What was especially good was eating the syrup, strawberries and ice cream together. Individually they were already really good, but when combined they were truly breathtaking.

After finishing, I was still not satisfied and wanted more! I wouldn’t mind eating that shave ice every day.

If you’re looking for really good shave ice, I highly recommend Uncle Clay’s.


By Alexandria Buchanan

Aina Haina Shopping Center is home to many small stores and restaurants, but hidden in the mini mall is a dream.

Uncle Clay’s dream as a child was to own a store at the complex across the street from his elementary school. As he grew up, he became more determined and is now the proud owner of Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha. This shave ice store works to provide “ono pono” shave ice, shave ice that not only tastes good, but is good for you. Everything at the store is all natural with no preservatives and unnatural sweeteners, making it a delicious, healthier alternative to the dyed, artificial syrups served at many other shops.

The store lives up to its name of “pure aloha” with its friendly staff and owner who cheerfully greet guests and take their orders.

If the owner, Uncle Clay, happens to be there when you visit, be prepared for a big hug when he welcomes you.

“Every time we hug, we do our part to keep Hawaii Hawaii,” Uncle Clay said.

Just like the customer service, the shave ice served was amazing. The flavors were sweet and tasty, even without the unnatural sugars and flavors.

I got the Uji Kintoki from the special creations list, which was a matcha shave ice with mochi, azuki beans and vanilla ice cream. The finely shaved ice was soft and the green tea syrup wasn’t overpowering and balanced well with the ice cream, mochi, and azuki beans.

The shop offers a variety of flavors like strawberry and chocolate, and different toppings such as ice cream and mochi. There are three sizes available; tiny, small and regular. Prices vary from $3.75 – $11 without additional toppings, depending which menu item and size you choose. Add-ons like mochi, ice cream, and fresh fruit are available as well for $.50 – $2.

Luckily, you won’t have to go to Aina Haina to taste the aloha because the small company is expanding to Ala Moana in December.


By Marietta Teramoto

When I went to Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha, I was welcomed with a strong, meaningful hug from Uncle Clay.

The two employees working at the time were very kind and self made the shave ice. It made feel like they put their joy all into shave ice I was eating. The shave ice that I chose was the Choco Coco Paradise. As his female employee called my name, Uncle Clay brought the shave ice to me. When he placed it down on my table, he said, “I too am also a chocolate lover.” The chocolatey-coconuty cold food was the best thing my tastebuds have ever tasted. It smelled as good as it tasted. The chocolate and the haupia smell was intoxicating.

When I took my first bite of the cold, soft-serve food, the shave ice melted as soon as it touched my tongue and the ice cream with the chocolate and haupia syrup made my mouth go on a flavor rollercoaster as all the tastes melded together.

It was carefully crafted and perfectly made. The chocolate and coconut syrup really topped it off for me.

Whether you’re a foreigner, tourist, non-local, or local, you should try Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha. Everything there will make you feel great, inside and out.

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Dream comes true for local shave ice store owner