Uncle Uke, also known as Robert Yates, developed his passion for music and ukuleles from a young age, starting to play the ukulele at 9 and guitar at 10.He pursued music education and guitar building after high school but temporarily set aside his musical interests while raising a family. Upon retirement, he rekindled his love for music and instrument making, leading to the creation of HUG Ukulele in late 2011 with his wife. Auntie Pat, began her building career in 2019. Their sons have also taken important roles in the family business.
HUG Ukulele's journey began with a partnership with a workshop in Taiwan, where they started producing Solid Mahogany Ukuleles to their precise standards. Over time, their range has expanded to include more than sixty ukulele models, thanks to collaborations with small independent workshops worldwide, including Taiwan, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Canada, and Hawaii.
The Yates Family believes in offering high-quality ukuleles at affordable prices, and their dedication to craftsmanship and playability has made the HUG Ukulele line exceptional. Ukulele enthusiasts from all over the world have embraced HUG Ukuleles, often visiting their flagship store and workshop in Hilo, Hawaii. Their success has led them to partner with independent retailers to share the joy of HUG Ukulele with a broader audience.
Robert Yates (Uncle Uke): Owner / Lead Designer & Builder
Patricia Yates: Owner / Da Boss!