Cat Chat 21: More than shave ice

Editor’s note: Catherine Toth is back on Nonstop. Although she’ll be blogging primarily on her own site,, Nonstop will run some of her posts and also her weekly Cat Chat video segment.

Six months ago I walked through Aina Haina Shopping Center and noticed something different.

Doe Fang, a little mom-and-pop crack seed shop that’s been around for more than 50 years, was closed.

I paused, not believing this popular shop — known for its delightful Icee creations, particular the strawberry slush topped with li hing powder — could close. People loved Doe Fang and, more importantly, they loved its owner, Uncle Clay Chang.

But there was a notice taped to the glass door. There was hope. It read that Uncle Clay was going to come back, creating something called a House of Pure Aloha. The dream, it said, would live on.

And it has.

Saturday is the grand opening of Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha (@uncleclays), a charming shave ice shop serving gourmet versions of the island treat. It boasts homemade syrups made with local ingredients from vendors such as Otsuji Farms in Hawaii Kai and Waialua Estate.

“This is my dream,” said Uncle Clay Chang, who was dishing out hugs yesterday to anyone who happened to stop by. “Now it’s turned into a calling.”

Now his calling is to spread his brand of aloha through this beloved frozen treat, offering syrups — pineapple, acai, lychee, coconut, li hing and even kale-spinach — and fresh toppings and homemade sauces.

Here’s a peek inside:

Check out more photos of Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha at The Cat Dish.

Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha, Aina Haina Shopping Center, 820 W. Hind Dr. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Phone: (808) 373-5111