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Zetterberg imports 'treat' to Detroit

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

The packaging describes Henrik Zetterberg's ties to the Royal Swedish Snowballs, a treat that the Wings' center enjoyed as a young boy.

DETROIT – Meatballs, fish, IKEA, and a bevy of world-class hockey players are some of the Swedish imports Red Wings’ fans have become accustom to in Motown.

Soon, they’ll have a tasty Scandinavia pastry to add to their list of favorites.

Next Wednesday, Wings center Henrik Zetterberg will launch the Royal Swedish Snowballs, a traditional Swedish treat, in North America at an appearance at Just Baked in Royal Oak, Mich.

“It’s one of those things that we always had as a kid,” said Zetterberg, of the vanilla-filled delicacy covered in chocolate and sprinkled with coconut shavings. “If you ever wanted a pastry this was one of my favorites, and it’s been real popular in Sweden for many years.”

Royal Swedish Snowballs will be available at all 12 metro Detroit Just Baked locations. The desserts will be sold in 4-packs and 6-packs, and retail for $5.99 and $8.99, respectively.

It’s been a few years since Zetterberg and his business partner, Jan Jutbo, first contemplated the idea of bringing the snowball-shaped pastries to Michigan. The two partners worked a deal with Just Baked, a specialty cupcake shop and bakery, who will produce and sell the snowballs, which will also be available during Wings’ home games at Joe Louis Arena.

Snowballs were a special treat when he was a boy, Zetterberg said, and something that his mother often purchased for festive occasions and holidays.

“You really couldn’t make them at home, so you had to go and buy them,” said Zetterberg, in an exclusive interview with “We didn’t have them all of the time, of course, but they were a popular item with a lot of kids. You see them in all of the grocery stores back in Sweden, so you really can’t miss them when you go home.”

At just 70-calories per serving, snowballs can be devoured without body-checking your diet into the end boards. Also, a portion of each sale will benefit the Zetterberg Foundation, which hosts patients from Detroit area children’s hospitals, and their families, at Red Wings’ home games.

“We’ve been talking about this for two or three years now and we were close last year to pulling it off,” said Zetterberg, of the snowballs. “But now we’re here and hopefully we can have a great start and a wonderful tie to the foundation.”

Zetterberg will welcome customers at Just Baked, 32828 Woodward Ave., in Royal Oak from 12-1 p.m. on Sept. 5. The first 50 customers, who purchase a 6-pack of snowballs will receive a Zetterberg autographed Royal Swedish Snowballs T-shirt. (Please note that Zetterberg will not autograph memorabilia at this event).

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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