"I couldn't talk. I was speechless for once, I guess everyone would say."
And if you ask Tyler Clenin now, he'd say he still isn't quite sure what to say, even days removed from his business — Clenin Farm Supply — being recognized as Business of the Year at the California Area Chamber of Commerce annual dinner meeting.
"I laid there last night before I went to bed and I was like, 'Man, is this real?'" Clenin said on Monday, just a couple days after the event took place over the weekend.
It was an emotional evening for Clenin, who was recognized in front of a packed house filled with his peers and fellow business owners from the community. It was clear how appreciative Clenin was to receive the recognition, as he was treated to rounds of applause from the encouraging audience present at the event.
"My emotions got the best of me, that's for sure," Clenin said.
Yet despite his lack of words, in the moments after he accepted his award other business owners, one by one, came by Clenin's seat at his table to wish him personal congratulations.
"There's a lot of people in this town that I have a lot of respect for," Clenin said. "A lot of very, very successful business owners, (like) the Burgers and Mr. G I feel like everyone supports everyone, I'm one hundred percent on board with that."
Clenin said he would never have expected to be honored with an award like this one not even four years after he first opened his store in March 2016.
"Maybe ten years in," Clenin said. "But there's a lot of young business owners now in our community, a lot of new businesses; I'm just thrilled that I was the lucky one."
Clenin said, despite his expectations, he started connecting the dots as outgoing Chamber president Blake Howard presented the award.
"Once he said my name, I was like 'Oh, gosh,'" Clenin said.
With the award already proudly displayed at the shop's counter, Clenin was quick to show appreciation for the community surrounding him that has made his business's success possible.
"This is my hometown. I've been here my entire life. I enjoy having my business and doing what I do, and I feel like the community supports me very well, and really, all the surrounding counties now, (too)," Clenin said.
As for what comes next? Taking some time to soak it in and enjoy the honor.
"And keep working," Clenin said. "Working hard Keep on truckin' is what we're going to do."