Winning shake saves the day for Lulu and Max

By Kaysha Brownlie -
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Ice cream isn't the only thing being scooped at a Hastings cafe, an award for the country's best milkshake is, too.

And just in the nick of time, saving Tessa Flowers-Morrell from closing the doors to Lulu and Max cafe.

Just after announcing the pending closure of the cafe which had succumbed to the stress of juggling four kids - aged 8 months to 16 years - and three businesses, Mrs Flowers-Morrell was delivered the winning news.

The cafe is based on all the things its owner loved in her childhood, from dress-ups to toys to sweet treats.

"I could live on milkshakes and cookies," she said.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree as her 3-year-old son, Ihaia, guzzled his own milkshake, before retiring to a cookie he had momentarily set aside.

"He's such a sweet-tooth, just like me."

With post-birth complications following the arrival of her daughter, Mila, and breaking her wrist shortly after, Mrs Flowers-Morrell was out of action for a while.

"I had lost all motivation, all drive ... I had decided I would close the cafe," she said.

But after winning the title, the doors remain open.

"I believe everything happens for a reason," she said.

She said the secret to the milkshake was "all in the fresh cream". The cafe won Anchor NZ's Best Milkshake regional 2016 competition as well as the national competition.

It is the second year the competition has taken place and Mrs Flowers-Morrell said it was her first time entering after switching to Anchor products halfway through last year.

She said the idea "sat on the counter for a little while," while they chose a recipe.

The cafe owner said iced chocolates were her favourite, and from that grew New Zealand's best milkshake recipe.

The Icey Chocolux was named by a customer following a competition.

It incorporates the icy drink and the name Lulu (lu) and Max (x).

Judge and TV chef Nici Wickes deemed the Icey Chocolux shake a "winning combination".

"Fantastic use of Anchor milk products and fabulous balance of flavours, not too sweet but it still tasted decadent," she said.

"This was my overall favourite, the one I would travel for ... "

The competition attracted 305 entries and more than 26,000 votes.

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