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Beloved Jo’s Juice squeezes last orange at Old Bus Depot Markets

Lachlan Roberts 14 July 2019 213
Josip Sladic

Josip Sladic served his last orange juice at the Old Bus Depot Markets on 30 June. Photo: George Tsotsos.

He has been a mainstay at the Old Bus Depot Markets for over two decades but Jo has poured his last juice at the popular weekend destination in Kingston.

Nearly 25 years ago, Josip Sladic set up Jo’s Juice at the markets, totally unaware of how successful his little stall would turn out to be.

“I was doing all the markets around town back then,” Mr Sladic shared. “The Old Bus Deport Markets was an undercover venue and the owners were lovely ladies so I decided to put a stall in. It was a way to make a living and to provide something that is real.

“You can’t get more real than juice from the fruit. I really enjoyed the social side of it and interacting with customers and it was a really pleasant experience.

“All the old stalls are leaving one by one and being replaced. All things must come to an end eventually I guess.”

Jo the orange juice guy

Sladic: “All things must come to an end.” Photo: George Tsotsos. 

The decision to leave wasn’t of his own making as the Old Bus Depot Markets’ new owners decided not to renew his lease. It might have left a sour taste in Mr Sladic’s mouth, but the news has brought an outpouring of love from the customers that have become his friends.

“I am a local Canberran for more than 20 years and coming to the markets is part of my life. There have been stall holders there for as long as I have been going,” loyal customer Charnelle said.

“These stall holders become friends and are the very fabric of the place. The value of people and the love and care they put into their products and services is what has made the markets what they are.

“I enjoyed my last glass of spiced apple and I cried a little when I finished it. I gave Jo a hug and told him how much he meant to me.”

Jo during happier times. Photo: Supplied.

Ken said his family travels from Wollongong on a regular basis to sample Jo’s delicious mulled wine while Eloise said Jo’s Juice stall was one of her main reasons for coming to the markets.

“I have been a regular visitor to the old bus depot markets for several years – and the thing I look forward to most (and a driving force for me to actually visit) is either an apple cider or lemon honey and ginger drink from the OJ store,” she said.

When queried, a spokesperson for the Old Bus Depot Markets told Region Media that the markets regularly reviewed its arrangements with vendors to ensure they offer visitors the best possible products and experience.

“The Old Bus Depot Markets has enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with local and regional vendors in the Canberra community for over 24 years,” the spokesperson said.

“While the Old Bus Depot Markets does not comment on specific business operations, more broadly, when managing the vendors the Old Bus Depot Markets considers legal obligations and regularly reviews its arrangements with vendors to ensure we offer our stallholders and visitors the best possible products and experience.

“We are sure Jo enjoyed his last market day on Sunday the 30th of June. We wish Jo all the best with his future endeavours as we are sure he will be moving on to bigger and brighter things.”


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212 Responses to
Beloved Jo’s Juice squeezes last orange at Old Bus Depot Markets
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10:07 pm 17 Jul 19

Tasha McNee heartbreaking

6:24 pm 17 Jul 19

What the hell!?! Shame bus depot!!! 😡

4:22 pm 17 Jul 19

The owners of the markets are Niravong and Liu. They also own a chain of supermarkets that specialise in products of Chinese origin.

9:07 pm 16 Jul 19

‘Beloved Jo’s juice squeezed out of Old Bus Depot Markets’ that was a gimme. Shame that the new owners don’t value history or respect the patronage of those who’ve bought juice from him over the past decades.

8:06 pm 16 Jul 19

So very disappointing

Good luck Jo

5:23 pm 16 Jul 19

Such sad news. We were regular customers. Josip was always friendly & his drinks were fabulous. Don’t think we’ll bother with the markets from now on.

4:02 pm 16 Jul 19

Out of interest, what stallholder process did he not comply with when given the termination notice back in Sept 2018?

1:31 pm 16 Jul 19

Do hope you are successful with being reinstated - you deserve to have your stall where it has been such a favourite for so long!

Your customers will follow anyway if you have to set up in a new venue!

Good luck!

11:32 am 16 Jul 19

Maybe he can set up at the weekly Farmers Markets at EPIC, and maybe Woden.

I'm sure the customers and other stallholders would love it.

8:55 am 16 Jul 19

The owners of the venue aren’t renewing his lease because they are greedy and are going to put their own juice stall in.... it makes me sick how some people are so greedy!

8:17 am 16 Jul 19

Poor decision by owners. Shame 😒

edge88 3:58 am 16 Jul 19

The owners clearly have no concept in what Canberrans find special – relationship, soul, history. If you are granted a piece of history, treat it with respect. Fools.

11:23 pm 15 Jul 19

It’s ok to express disappointment about Jo’s juice going but please don’t be nasty or judgemental to the other small businesses and stall-holders at the market. The owners made the decision - not the other stall holders.

9:51 pm 15 Jul 19

Josh no Effin way 😭

9:24 pm 15 Jul 19

Government and business usually have strategies for short-medium return profit. They’re not interested in consistency, community happiness or gradual change. They certainly aren’t interested in supporting individuals like Jo Sladic. Gorman House and the loss of those markets was sad too.

8:34 pm 15 Jul 19

Oh no...he's been there forever!! Hope they keep the OBDM going...heard that they want to build a hotel or something there:(

8:12 pm 15 Jul 19

Remember my hot lemon drink. Sooo good

7:06 pm 15 Jul 19

Great product great bloke well run business yep he’s gotta go

juice 6:14 pm 15 Jul 19

Thanks so much for your support and well wishes.
I hope to gather enough strength to fight some more in the courts. Lawyers are expensive so I have a link to gofundme on my website oj.com.au. If I can get ten thousand people to donate five dollars each, I’ll have a real chance. Each donation will be rewarded with a free drink if I get my stall back. Forever an optimist ?

5:53 pm 15 Jul 19

Jo and I did our first presentation together at Signadou teachers college back in 1991! A great man whose business will be sorely missed. Rolf

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