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GiVEr Spotlight: Nathan Tipton

Bringing Louisiana flair to community contributions


(Mar. 1, 2019) Among the many ways Nathan Tipton gives back to our community, he has recently gained renown for bringing a slice of Mardi Gras tradition to Memphians each year. Nathan is a born-and-bred Louisianan, so naturally Mardi Gras is his favorite holiday.

After years of living in Memphis, hundreds of miles from celebration central in the Big Easy, he decided five years ago that it was time he started making his own king cakes. As he puts it, “King cake is just a part of Mardi Gras.”

Nathan (pictured right, courtesy of The Commercial Appeal) is involved with numerous community organizations, so it is no surprise that his baking first received attention after he made king cakes for the Tennessee Equality Project gumbo contest two years ago. Since then, he has had “a nice little side gig, making between 25 and 40 cakes” over the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras Tuesday. Thus far, his baking pursuits have been fully embraced by the taste buds of dozens of Memphians.  


In addition to the hours he spends in the kitchen making sure the Mardi Gras spirit stays alive in Memphis, Nathan makes giving back to his adopted hometown a priority. “I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I have 85 of everything I could possibly need. I’m practically in the Marie Kondo stage where I need to be getting down to things that are really important. Giving back is.” 

GiVE 365 became one of the ways Nathan chooses to give back after discovering the program as a board member at Mid-South Spay and Neuter in 2013. “We applied for a GiVE 365 grant, and I came with the executive director to watch her give the grant presentation [at The Finals]. We got that grant, which of course piqued my interest. And I thought, ‘Well, this is cool!’”


Nathan later joined GiVE 365 as a member, and quickly decided to give of his time on the Advisory Team. “Memphis has historically been really philanthropic, and GiVE 365 fits right into that. I think it’s a good, easy way to give back, and it’s approachable to a lot of people.”

When he is not on the move supporting a myriad of Memphis nonprofits or baking king cakes, Nathan serves as the Executive Assistant to the Chair of Physiology at University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

This February, Daily Memphian Food and Dining Editor Jennifer Biggs hosted Nathan on the “Destination: Delicious Podcast” to talk all things king cake, including his latest Bananas Foster king cake creation. LISTEN HERE.