ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Her love of food started at a young age, just around a family active in the kitchen. But now, it has taken her to a national platform. Greece native and Baker Mina Hoyt will compete on the “Girl Scout Baking Championship” Monday on Food Network at 8 p.m.

“I come from a very, very large family. Both on my mom and dad’s side, cooking and baking has been a huge thing and a huge part of our lives,” Hoyt said. “We have Sunday dinners every Sunday, my dad cooks Persian food every Sunday, my aunts, they all make Italian cookies, they do it all, I watched everyone bake growing up. It started there.”

The dream started with the staples; simple play time.

“My cousin and I used to pretend that we had a pie shop,” she said. “We said when we were older we were going to open up a pie shop. It never happened, I opened a bakery though.”

She went to one year of baking school at 15, and after that, she worked for some of the best bakeries in town — including Wegmans — providing the ingredients for a successful career.

“I learned and pulled from everyone else and molded me into what I am today,” she said.

Following a three-year stint at Jackson’s Bakery, she saw how he ran his business, and decided to open Something Delicious Bake Shop, a place she owned and operated that place for five years, and sold it off in January.

“It’s been a challenge,” she said. “It’s been a love, passionate, hate relationship, but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.”

But her time at Something Delicious led to her first appearance on Food Network two years ago, on a show called Bakers Vs. Fakers — it aired during the Super Bowl.

Even though they “made her seem like the bad guy,” she persevered. She is now the Head Pastry Chef at University of Rochester, and is oven-fresh off a “Best In Show” finish at the Annual Chocolate Ball, a project she did all on her own, with her cake, with the theme “Beyond the Reef.”

All of this prepared her for culinary challenge of the Girl Scout Cookie Baking Championship:

“Sadly I was very, very sick the day of the shoot, so I put my everything into, it, but the day was very, very difficult,” she said. “You have to take Girl Scout cookies and make baked goods with it, and it’s difficult to take something that’s a baked good and then re-bake it.”

But now, she’s baked her own life, and it has all that… And a cherry on top.

Watch Mina answer Dan’s Big Three:

“This is my dream,” she said. “Everything I’m living right now is my dreams. My goals when I was 15 years old, I had long term and short term goals, my long term goal was to be on Food Network, and to open a bakery, and I did both.”

But like a perfect cake, it always comes full circle.

“I’m really proud of myself,” she said. “And I know little Mina would be proud of big Mina right now.”

More 1-on-1 conversations with News 8’s Dan Gross