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

Lachlan Roberts 11 July 2019 211
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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211 Responses to Beloved Jo’s Juice squeezes last orange at Old Bus Depot Markets
edge88 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.

juice 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 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 ?

Andrea Wild Andrea Wild 8:04 pm 14 Jul 19

Old Bus Depot Markets, it looks like Canberrans totally disagree that you are offering “visitors the best possible products and experience” by removing Jo’s stall!

viking princess viking princess 12:27 pm 14 Jul 19

Such terrible news!! Jo has been part of the backbone of the markets for over twenty years now, what on earth is the management thinking? No doubt it involves themselves making more money! Such a lousy business decision!

We’ll miss you and your products Jo, a sad day indeed for Canberra.

Startmeup Startmeup 9:53 am 14 Jul 19

Wonder why “legal obligations” was mentioned? Are they worried about someone slipping over a fresh orange peel?

wasabi wasabi 9:06 am 14 Jul 19

The stupidity of new owners. On a cold Canberra days the only reason I go to the Bus Depot is to have a cup of Joe’s lemon honey and ginger drink. On summer days it’s his fresh OJ. Being there I will usually pick up some charcuterie,, bread and fresh veggies because I am there and it is convenient. I seldom go “up,the ramp” as it is full of useless rubbish where I can buy better at the handmade markets. Now that Joe is gone we won’t bother going at all. His stall was a differentiator and a huge draw card. Joe’s was the equivalent of Wonga coffee at the epic markets. Always a long queue and all regulars happy to wait and chat. Will miss you Joe. Now that I have signed up to RIOTACT after others brought this article to my attention just to be able to make this comment (not something I usually do) if you set up elsewhere Joe please get RIOTACT to do an article to publicize it. I will see you there every week! All the best Joe and may life be kinder to you than the idiots that bought the Depot markets_ May they go broke quickly and unmercifully.

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