By Kids, For Kids: Aqua Terra’s New Milkshake Bar Gives Back To Childhood Education

If milkshakes at a surf ‘n turf restaurant sound like an idea that a child would have come up with, you’re right. Turns out, the milkshakes at Aqua Terra Steak + Sushi do a lot of good for the kids too. 

This month, the restaurant, located right by the westside Main Street entrance at City Creek Center Mall, launched its latest menu offering, Mak-n-Jax’s Milkshake Bar. Featuring a base of vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry sorbet—or all three mixed together—guests are welcome to create a Mixed Milkshake with toppings like chocolate chips, Oreo cookies, toasted macadamia crunch, or coconut flakes. And of course, the pièce de résistance—a dollop of whipped cream, tops it all off.

It was something that Elaina Morris’s children, Makena and Jaxon, had been begging their mother to put on the menu. 

“All kids love dessert and my kids have always wanted to put their touch on something at one of our restaurants,” Morris, who serves as the president and CEO of Ascend Hospitality Group, Aqua Terra’s parent company, said. “So when this opportunity came around, they were all in on milkshakes. They even made a presentation to sell me and my partners on it.” 

Ascend Hospitality Group CEO Elaina Morris with her kids Jaxon and Makena.

But even sweeter than the shakes is the purpose behind them. For every shake sold at Aqua Terra, the restaurant will be donating $1 to a nonprofit partner. And since the menu item was inspired by and named for two children, it was only natural to tie the shakes to a cause that resonates with kids. 

As such, the Salt Lake Education Foundation will be the first beneficiary of the proceeds raised by Mak-n-Jax’s Milkshake Bar. 

“When we land in a new market and city, we land a philosophy—we’re not just a restaurant; we are grounded in service to the communities in which we operate,” Morris said. “Our lane is education, and that’s important to us as a company.” 

Milkshake at Aqua Terra. Photo courtesy of Ascend Hospitality

The beneficiary of the milkshakes with heart, the Salt Lake Education Foundation, supports every student in the Salt Lake CIty School District, helping ensure they achieve their goals in and out of the classroom. The foundation depends on community support to help their students.

“We appreciate the partnership with businesses, like Aqua Terra Steak + Sushi, who bring positive change for our students and strengthen our community,” said Salt Lake Education Director James Yapias in an announcement when the Mak-n-Jax Milkshake Bar was launched. 

Education, Morris believes, can be just as important to a community’s well-being as food, shelter, and water. And since they’re in the business of providing a good meal and a good place to get one, it only makes sense for Aqua Terra to have a component that serves educational needs as well.

So next time you finish a delicious lunch or dinner at Aqua Terra, why not complete your meal with a milkshake for dessert? And knowing that you’ll be supporting children’s education, it’ll be that much sweeter.


Learn more about Ascend Hospitality’s commitment to community in Utah!

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